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Prince Daniel of Sweden visits Aalto University

The Prince and his large entourage were especially interested in the university's cooperation with entrepreneurs and in startup entrepreneurship.
The prince was received by Vice Rectors Hannu Seristö and Anna Valtonen. The visit started at Aalto University's new main building, Dipoli.

Prince Daniel visited Aalto University on Wednesday as part of his two-day visit to Finland, which was inspired by innovation and entrepreneurship in Finland. Taking part in the visit were a 40-member delegation, including top figures in Swedish business and young entrepreneurs.

The Prince was received by Vice Presidents Hannu Seristö and Anna Valtonen. The visit to Aalto University began at Dipoli, the new main building, where the visitors learned about the business cluster of the Otaniemi campus area and the cooperation linking the world of business, Aalto University, and its startup businesses. Interest was also raised by the architect of the campus, Alvar Aalto, from whom Aalto university derives its name.

The visit to ICEY, a startup on the Otaniemi campus, got an enthusiastic reception and sparked lively discussion. ICEYE, which emerged from Aalto University's miniature satellite programme, is a forerunner of SAR radar imaging technology developed for microsatellites.

Aalto Design Factory director Kalevi Ekman showed the guests an experimental platform for product development in which theory is turned into practice in corporate projects. At Design Factory the guests visited its working spaces, including the Puuhabunkkeri workshop and the Printshop. The robot bus, which is in experimental use in Otaniemi, also had Swedish guests sitting on its benches. One of the members of the Prince's delegation, banker and industrial figure Marcus Wallenberg (second from the left), was inspired to speak with students on a product development course about their aircraft project, in which one of the corporate partners is Saab.

The entourage listened enthusiastically to the Design Factory students, who talked about their tractor project linked with agriculture.

Student Kasper Suomalainen (in the middle) amazed the visitors with a story about the Startup Sauna accelerator, which began in 2008 and culminates again this year in the technology and growth company event Slush, which is taking place for the tenth time now.

At the Startup Sauna Prince Daniel spoke with Kasper Suomalainen on the strengths of Finnish and Swedish enterprises and on corporate social responsibility.

The Prince met student Lauri Tegel at the Startup Sauna. Tegel told about the Junction hackathon, which had been held at the weekend at Dipoli, where thousands of coders and designers worked to solve challenges facing companies.

From Aalto University, Prince Daniel's entourage moved on to Ruoholahti as guests of Supercell. The following day they were to visit Slush.

The visit is part of the Prince Daniel’s Fellowship programme in which the Prince, together with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and Swedish business, encourage young people to implement plans for entrepreneurship.

Photos: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

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