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.

After 43 years of operating, the HSE Support Foundation’s grants and other support awarded to both the School of Economics and individuals working within the school have increased fivefold. The total support received on 2017 was €1 193 000. The amount received through yearly donations varies significantly. Since its creation, the HSE Support Foundation’s grants, recognition awards and other support for research and teaching – first to the Helsinki School of Economics and then since 2010 to the Aalto University School of Business – have amounted to a total of around €37 000,000 in today’s money.

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 various recognition 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 2017

Support, recognition and donations for business science

In 2017, the HSE Support Foundation awarded a total of €1 193 000 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 and various recognition awards.

Recognition awards

The researcher of the year recognition award of €4 000 was awarded to Assistant Professor Nina Granqvist.

The €4 000 award for the highest quality doctoral dissertation of 2016 was awarded to KTT Ville Rantala for his dissertation entitled ‘Essays on Peer Effects in Finance’. In addition, €2 000 recognition awards for high-quality doctoral dissertations were also awarded in 2016 to: KTT Jukka Rintamäki for his dissertation entitled ‘Collective memory and corporate irresponsibility - A collection of essays’ and KTT Anastasia Seregina for her dissertation on ‘Performing Fantasy and Reality’.

The €4 000 award for Teacher of the Year was awarded to Senior Lecturer Johanna Bragge, and the €4 000 Teaching Developer Recognition Award to Professor of Practice Rita Järventie-Thesleff. The €4 000 Service Employee of the Year award was awarded to Controller Krista Lankinen, and the €4 000 Societal Contributor of the Year award to Professor Vesa Puttonen.

Awards for high-quality publications

Since 2005, 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.

A €2 000 award is given to articles published in a journal from the ABS 4 or JUFO 3 list. 26 such articles were given awards in 2017 (22 in 2016, 30 in 2015).

A €4 000 award is given to articles published in a journal from the Financial Times 50 list. A total of 17 FT 50 list awards were given on 2017 (Earlier FT 45 list: 20 in 2016, 10 in 2015, 8 in 2014, 12 in 2013, 7 in 2012, 11 in 2011. Earlier FT 40 list: 7 in 2010, 7 in 2009, 11 in 2008).


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.

In 2017, the Foundation received €48 800 in donations of different kinds (compared to €43 400 in 2016).

Board of HSE Support Foundation for 2018

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

Vice Chair of the group of delegates:
Master of Business Administration Harri Sailas

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
CEO Salla Vainio

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

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