HSE Support Foundation

Supporting research, teaching and studies

The HSE Support Foundation fr (registered foundation) was founded in 1974 in connection with the nationalisation of the private School of Economics when a part of the funds given to the school by trade and industry, either directly or via the Foundation for Economic Education, were endowed for the creation of an independent HSE Support Foundation.
Outside picture of the School of Business building in Otaniemi. Three Aalto Flags swinging in front of the building.

Supporting research, teaching and studies

The purpose of the Foundation was defined to be the provision of support to research, teaching and studies at the Helsinki School of Economics, which now goes by the name of Aalto University School of Business. In both its administration and operations, the Foundation has received uninterrupted material and psychological support from the private business actors that the School of Business has been able to rely on since its very beginnings.

Significant increase in support

In its initial years, the Foundation had to focus on building the facilities for the School of Economics in handling the interest and depreciation of the debts from the renovation work carried out. During these years, the number of grants awarded therefore remained quite small. The gradual reinvestment of property and, in particular, the transformation of residential real estate into business and office premises lead to growth in the profits from the Foundations assets and also significant improvements in the opportunities for supporting research and teaching in the school. As the Foundation grew financially stronger, it became possible to develop new ways of supporting a school that was growing and becoming increasingly more international.

During its history, the HSE Support Foundation has distriputed around 51,6 million euros in current money in the form of grants, recognition awards and other support, first for the promotion of the research and teaching activities of the Helsinki School of Economics and, since 2010, the Aalto University School of Business. The total support was 1,117,000 euros in 2023. The number of grants awarded from annual donation funds varies considerably.

Diverse types of support

As a rule, the key areas of support have remained within the broad initial parameters, but always with specific application to current needs. The central areas have been scientific research and thesis and dissertation work, which since the beginning have received 50% of the overall support. In addition, projects for developing teaching, overseas studies and conference trips, as well as recognition awards and quality publication awards have been significant target areas for supporting the ongoing internationalisation of the School of Economics.

In addition to the more traditional forms of support to research and teaching, the HSE Support Foundation has, since the 1990s, started awarding new forms of support such as different recognition awards, halls named in honour of particular individuals, and funding for the sabbatical system. In 2000 the Foundation also awarded a significant one-off grant for ensuring that the renovated lecture halls of the School of Economics would have modern and high-quality teaching technology. At one time, the Foundation was also involved in real estate investments in Etu-Töölö together with the trusts of the Helsinki School of Economics. These investments have secured income streams and the real value of investment and have also promoted the overall functionality of the facilities used by the school.

40-year anniversary in 2014

In honour of the 30-year anniversary of the HSE Support Foundation, an account of the establishment and operation of the Foundation was written. The authors were the former CEO of the HSE Foundation, MSc (Econ.) Matti Sarakontu, and the present CEO, MSc (Econ.) Arto Mäenmaa.

10 October 2014 was the fortieth anniversary of the Foundation’s inclusion in the foundation register. In collaboration with the School of Economics, the HSE Support Foundation published a biography of Chancellor Jaakko Honko, who was a significant figure in the Foundation’s establishment. The biography, which was written by PhD Eeva-Liisa Lehtonen based on her own research, was entitled ‘Kauppatieteiden komea kaari - kansleri Jaakko Hongon elämäntyö’ (The elegant trajectory of business science – the life’s work of Chancellor Jaakko Honko).

At the banquet on 22 October 2014, Foundation Chairman and Vuorineuvos Kari Jordan gave a speech about the Foundation’s past and present.

Annual report 2023

Support, recognition and donations for business science

In 2022, the HSE Support Foundation awarded a total of € 1,117,000 (€ 1.109,000 in year 2022) of grants and other support to the Aalto University School of Business and entities operating within it for the promotion of research, teaching and studies.

The focus areas for the Foundation, which was founded in 1974, was scientific research, thesis and dissertation work, travel grants, recognition awards and quality publication awards.The research grants include e.g. grant support to ensure full-time research funding for the 1st and 2nd year doctoral researchers of Aalto University School of Business.

Conference travel grants returned to the pre-pandemic level, with international cooperation once again taking place also as important attendance meetings. The number of quality publication awards increased considerably partly as a result of the abundant publication of research papers made during the pandemic.

Tuen jakautuminen 2023
Apurahat ja muu tuki 2014–2023 ja 2024 (TA):

Recognition awards

The researcher of the year recognition award of € 5,000 was awarded to Professor Henri Schildt.

The € 2,000 award for the highest quality doctoral dissertation of 2022 was awarded to PhD Lauri Laine for his dissertation entitled ‘Metaentrepreneurship‘.

The € 5,000 award for Teacher of the Year was awarded to Associate professor Pekka Malo and the € 5,000 Teaching Developer Recognition Award to Professor of Practice Perttu Kähäri. The € 5,000 Service Employee of the Year award was awarded to Coordinator Reetta Ali-Alha, and the € 5,000 Societal Contributor of the Year award to Senior Scientist Iivo Vehviläinen.

Awards for high-quality publications

The HSE Support Foundation has given recognition awards to researchers at the Aalto University School of Business for research papers that have been published in top journals. The award is a recognition of distinguished long-term research work. In the years 2005–2023, 801 quality publication awards have been granted.

In the spring of 2020, the Support Foundation's Board decided to make a change to the quality publication award system so that from the season that started on March 1, 2020, the 1st category includes publications on the FT50 and ABS4* lists, and the 2nd category includes publications on the ABS4 and JUFO3 lists. In the same context, the amount of awards was increased to € 5,000 and € 2,500. In 2023, 29 prizes were awarded in the 1st category and 28 prizes in the 2nd category (15 and 20 in 2022).


In addition to the profits obtained from property, donations from companies, other organisations, and private persons constitute a significant part of the funds awarded by the HSE Foundation as grants or other kinds of support.

The Support Foundation received € 19,000 in 2023 (€ 50,000 in 2022) as various thesis, activity and anniversary donations.

Board of HSE Support Foundation for 2023

Chair of the group of delegates:
Kauppaneuvos Heimo J. Aho

Vice Chair of the group of delegates:
CEO Sam G. Nieminen

Chair of the Board for HSE Support Foundation:
Vuorineuvos Kari Jordan

Vice Chair of the Board for HSE Support Foundation:
CEO Elina Björklund

Board Members:
MSc (Econ.) Riku Asikainen
MSc (Econ.) Pii Kotilainen
MSc (Econ.) Pekka Laaksonen
MSc (Econ.) Salla Vainio

CEO of HSE Support Foundation:
MSc (Econ.) Arto Mäenmaa

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