Valio donates 3 million euro to Aalto University
Valio Ltd is donating three million euro to the Aalto University Foundation and will start a unique form of collaboration with Aalto University to make Finnish marketing expertise the best in the world. Valio has a long tradition of collaboration with the academic community in the fields of biotechnology, nutritional science and milk technology, and is now extending that to include marketing. The co-operation agreement was signed on Wednesday 13th October 2010.
“Finns have been criticised for poor commercialisation of innovations. Teaming up with Aalto University we will further research on consumer needs and develop marketing profitability measurement, in order to be able to allocate our work more precisely in the future,” says Tiina Mattila-Sandholm, Professor and Executive Vice President who is in charge of the project at Valio.
Valio CEO Pekka Laaksonen believes that this collaboration with Aalto University will bear fruit for both Valio and the University.
“Valio needs further understanding of consumer needs so that we can develop the right kind of products. Valio is a marketing communications trailblazer in Finland and a leading brand house where Aalto students will gain practical experience and training by participating in real marketing projects,” CEO Laaksonen emphasises.
Practical co-operation with the Department of Marketing and Management
Henrikki Tikkanen, Professor of Marketing at Aalto University, will guide Valio employees in the company’s consultative committee for marketing.
“Such profound and extensive collaboration in the development of marketing expertise has never before been undertaken in Finland between a commercial enterprise and the academic community. This collaboration between Aalto and Valio is a unique project which will develop, for example, consumer research, marketing measurement, market research, and a new kind of leadership. Collaboration will be implemented in seminars, independent projects, and by offering the students opportunities to carry out practical work at Valio,” says Professor Tikkanen.
Collaboration kicks off with a pilot seminar in November
Collaboration between Aalto and Valio will be launched on 19th November 2010 with a pilot seminar that will focus, for example, on research into the daily habits of consumers, innovative packaging solutions, and the latest trends in consumer and brand research.
Professor Tiina Mattila-Sandholm, Valio Ltd, tel. +358 10 381 3004 and Professor Henrikki Tikkanen, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 573 4174.
Valio Ltd, Corporate Communications, Pia Kontunen, Senior Vice President, tel. +358 10 381 2038, mobile +358 50 384 2606, pia.kontunen [at] valio [dot] fi