Starting from July 6, a new Technical and Scientific Development Branch will start operating as a part of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence. The new branch will produce studies in StratCom, merging both qualitative and quantitative approaches; it will support the other branches in their research, network with the wider academic and business community, and strengthen the role of the Centre as a hub of knowledge and expertise in Strategic Communications. The director, Mr. Janis Sarts sees the creation of this new branch as a reply to the need for improving links between practitioners and scientists: ‘Technological development rapidly changes the way people communicate; this has the power to transform the world in which we all live. It is necessary for us to be aware of the changes, how they influence us, and stay one step ahead so that future developments don’t lead us by the nose.’
Dr Antti Sillanpää (Finland) will serve as branch head. His new position is a positive example of how non-NATO Partnership for Peace countries can play an important role for NATO and the StratCom Centre of Excellence. Dr Sillanpää has been working as a senior researcher for the Centre since 2015. Before joining the Centre he served at the Secretariat of Security Committee of Finland (2011-2014). His tasks there focused on comprehensive security, cyber security, and communications. Prior to working at the Secretariat, he held various research and teaching positions with the Finnish National Defence University (2007-2010) and Helsinki University of Technology (2002-2007). Before going into academics, Sillanpää worked with major television news organizations in Finland, both as a journalist and in managerial posts.
Dr Sillanpää holds a PhD in Science from the Helsinki University of Technology, a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Helsinki and a Master’s degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics. His doctoral thesis focused on networks, competition, and strategies.