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Topical issues at Aalto Coffee

Almost 100 members of the Aalto Community gathered together at Aalto Coffee hosted by the President in Otaniemi on 29 November 2016.

President Tuula Teeri talked about the highlights of Aalto University during the autumn, the University’s Finland 100 projects, the updated funding model, and the development of the campus, and the services.

The President opened the event by saying that the University had now been in the process of making changes for seven years and still had more to do, but that the results already spoke for themselves. The scientific and artistic advisory boards (SABs and SAAB), which recently visited Aalto University, found that the University had managed to reach significant results in the past two years. Especially the quality of the research and the artistic quality were praised.

The President mentioned that Slush originated from Aalto University. The University keeps in close contact with Slush and growth enterprise activities. Tuula Teeri hoped that the buzzing growth enterprise activity would also attract more investments to Finland to help maintain the welfare society.

Finland 100 projects showcase societal impact

On the Game Changers timeline, due to be published next year, important phenomena and people from Aalto University, its predecessors, and companies that have sprung from the University, are collected and placed on a digital and physical timeline. It will create a picture of the societal impact of Aalto University and provide an opportunity to generate ideas for the next one hundred years, as well. The President said that Aalto would also participate in the Suomi Areena debate forum themed Suomi 100. In the autumn, the FallUp event, organised by students, will encourage entrepreneurship and, once the building work at Dipoli has been completed, the intention is to organise the opening of the academic year on a slightly larger scale. During next year’s Slush, Aalto University will organise a symposium on entrepreneurship training. Cluster is behind the symposium, which is a network of 12 entrepreneurial universities and which Tuula Teeri is the president of. Aalto University participates in Helsinki Challenge, a science-based competition, which is organised by ten Finnish universities to solve global problems.

The President, once again, expressed her delight over the Nobel Prizes awarded to people closely associated with Aalto University: the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Bengt Holmström, who is a member of the Board of Aalto University, and the Nobel Prize in Physics to Michael Kosterlitz, who was a Visiting Fellow at Aalto University at the time the prize was announced.

There were also good news about the Design Factory network spreading around the world as three new Design Factories were launched during this autumn. It is a learning network, in which students learn practical working life skills through problem solving. The combination of a good education system and excellent students benefits companies, too.

Funding model is reformed, campus and services are developed

Tuula Teeri talked about Aalto University’s revised funding model for the period of 2016–2020. More information about the funding model will be published on Inside shortly.

The campus will be reformed strongly in the coming years. Europe grows through centres of expertise and there is a considerable innovation cluster developing in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, including Otaniemi. The President was pleased that, with the development of the campus, the staff is prepared to move, optimise the use of the facilities and intensify their collaboration. At the same time, the service organisation will be more user-friendly and the services will be spread more evenly around the campus.

The university’s services will be further improved to meet the customers’ needs and provide value to the core activities of Aalto. After 2017, when the concept has been completed, we will implement a new way to produce our services. The aim is to make the standard of our services world class by 2020. A user-oriented approach, digitality and the reforming campus are supportive of each other in this respect, too, said the President.

More information:

Presentation (pdf)

Aalto University and Finland 100 (aalto.fi)

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