The Research Foundation of Helsinki University of Technology celebrated its 35-year journey on 30 October 2014. At the same event, the foundation disclosed its new name: Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology.
‘One of the strengths of our country, which others have copied, is excellent collaboration between universities and industry; we have more than 100 years of tradition in this collaboration,’ said Aalto University President Tuula Teeri at the beginning of her speech.
Collaboration in the fields of technology is genuine collaboration, and both students and researchers are well aware of what is happening in the business world.
‘Expertise and persevering collaboration in research have enabled Finnish innovations and the success of Finnish companies,’ Teeri added. Aalto was rated in the 16th place in a ranking which measured collaboration between universities and enterprises.
‘In the future we want to be an even better partner in creating Finnish success stories. The activities of the foundation are well established, and the foundation and the grants it awards are considered important at Aalto. The new name of the foundation supports the university's strategy and activities.’
Thanks expressed for long-term collaboration
The traditional awarding of TKK medals took place at the banquet, and this time the medals were awarded to KONE Corporation and NCC Construction Ltd. The medals are awarded to organisations which have a long history of collaboration with the foundation and with the Aalto University schools of technology, and which have offered funding for master's theses as well as master's thesis positions for students. The medals were presented by Hannele Wallenius, Chair of the foundation's Executive Committee, and the foundation’s Executive Director Ella Bingham.
Accepting the medal on behalf of KONE was Tiina Hakala, Head of Competence Management, while President Harri Savolainen accepted the medal on behalf of NCC Construction. Both felt that collaboration with the university was both strategically important and mutually beneficial.
Two former executive directors were also presented with appreciation gifts. From 2003 to 2009, the foundation’s executive director was Professor Jorma Kyyrä (on the right) from the School of Electrical Engineering, and from 2010 to 2013, the post was held by Professor Esko Niemi from the School of Science.
Music at the event was provided by the Polytech Choir Quartet.
The Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology was founded by Finnish industry in 1979 for the purpose of supporting technological and scientific research at Aalto University and promoting related teaching activities. The foundation continually distributes grants for theses, and once a year it awards research grants from the yield on the foundation's capital. Included in the sphere of activities of the Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology are the School of Engineering, the School of Chemical Technology, the School of Science, the School of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Architecture at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
A company or organisation can make a donation to the foundation targeting a specific area of research. The foundation awards a grant to a student who is recommended by a professor in his or her field. A donation is an easy and inexpensive way to take part in research. For students this is an easy way to receive funding for a thesis and to establish contacts with a company.
The foundation's new name is in Finnish ‘Aalto-yliopiston tekniikan tukisäätiö’ and in Swedish ‘Stödfonden för teknik vid Aalto-universitetet’.
More information: Foundation website
Photos: Aalto University, Mikko Raskinen