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Aalto University President Tuula Teeri looks for "a bold vision, innovation and investment" to promote growth in Finland

President Tuula Teeri and Board Member Colin Whitehouse share their views on a new future for Finland’s economic growth.

Aalto University President, Tuula Teeri, and Board Member, Professor Colin Whitehouse, believe the biggest problem of the Finnish society - the lack of growth - should be solved through deeper industry and government investments in high quality research and its efficient exploitation.

Teeri expands, “Our problem in Finland is our lack of growth. We’ve tried to balance the economy with short-term mechanistic taxation and employment measures. This is not enough to stimulate growth.  Growth will begin by increasing innovation and investments. We therefore need a bold national vision and action plan for research and innovation, that carries over different government terms.”

There are several international reports pointing out that Finland in particular, is losing ground in its innovation capacity. Whitehouse, a member of Aalto University’s board who has also worked several years as an expert in the Academy of Finland, and Teeri see that for Finland to regain its world-leading position as an innovation nation it must:

  • Develop the University funding system to support genuine leadership on the international scale.
  • Include a clear national level assesment in the government funding for the crucial role of Universities as drivers of long-term societal development.
  • Reform University education to support the next-generation of industry and employment.

Evidence from several countries, including the UK and Nordics, suggests that the key to sustainable growth comes from close and long-term collaboration between industry and universities.

According to a recent report by Damvad consultancy, companies collaborating with Aalto University are highly productive, export oriented and they employ more people than their average peers. The results are similar at the Danish Technical University, DTU.

“By investing in research collaboration and combining the expertise of industry and Universities, we can solve the grand challenges our societies face. Research creates business and research co-operation between industry and universities has a positive impact on the companies’ turnover and employment”, says Teeri.

According to Whitehouse, key international corporations have a strong track record in collaborating in a significant way with leading Universities.

“There is now a crucially important opportunity to scale up the collaborations at Aalto, and create a number of long-term strategic partnerships with both Finnish and international companies to generate even larger economic and job growth”, Colin Whitehouse points out. Adding, “This has clearly worked well in other countries, I don’t see any reasons why this couldn’t happen in Finland as well.”

More information:

Tuula Teeri, President, Aalto University
tel. +358 50 452 4690 (assistant Hely Kilpeläinen)
[email protected]

Colin Whitehouse, Board Member, Aalto University
tel. +358 50 452 4690 (assistant Hely Kilpeläinen)

Jaakko Salavuo, Communications Director, Aalto University,
tel. +358 50 483 6120
[email protected]

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