April 2, 2019
The establishment of the new professorship in the Aalto University School of Business is made possible by a joint donation of EUR 2.5 million from the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
The task of Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) is to increase the quantity and quality of economic education and training in Finland and to promote cooperation between the field of economics and other academic fields. Helsinki GSE is a joint unit of Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and Hanken School of Economics.
Helsinki GSE’s new economics and data sciences professorship is located in the Aalto University School of Business. The professorship is based on a donation of EUR 2.5 million made by the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. Each foundation donated EUR 1.25 million.
The accelerating digitalisation increases the amount of data in all sectors of society. Efficient use of digital materials in decision-making requires the ability to gather, organize and analyse data. Consequently, the decision-making process produces essential information about causal relationships.
The need for more efficient utilisation of data in the decision-making process is an important reason for the donors to support an economics and data sciences professorship.
“The professorship complements the high level of Finnish research on machine learning by introducing alongside it a profound understanding of the economic behaviour of decision-makers”, states Petteri Karttunen, Chairman of the Saastamoinen Foundation’s Board of Directors.
According to Arto Mäenmaa, Executive Director of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Helsinki GSE is also an appealing project.
“High-quality science is a prerequisite for the success of our society. Collaborations, in turn, are often excellent ways to increase effectiveness. Helsinki GSE combines them”, he explains.
The economics and data sciences professorship generates significant cross-faculty and cross-school opportunities for different universities and schools of business.
“I would like to thank the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation for their long-term support to Aalto University and the School of Business and for this substantial donation. The professorship will strengthen Helsinki GSE’s ability to provide first-class research and education”, says Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University.
The Dean of the School of Business Ingmar Björkman also thanks the foundations: ‘This is a significant donation. The understanding of data analysis is becoming more and more important in economics education as well as in business operations.’
Economists specialised in economics and data sciences get employed in various sectors.
“Combining statistical analysis to the economic modelling of decision-making creates considerable added value, for example in the technology and game industry, retail sector and public sector”, states Otto Toivanen, Academic Director of the Helsinki GSE.
Helsinki GSE started operating in spring 2018 and its Doctoral Program and the Research Master Program for postgraduate studies started in autumn 2018.
The Saastamoinen Foundation supports science and art by promoting research, training and networking in Finland and internationally.
Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation works towards fulfilling the requisites of a thriving society by enabling science, art and social activities.
Ilkka Niemelä, President, Aalto University
tel: +358 50 452 4690
Otto Toivanen, Academic Director, Helsinki Graduate School of Economics
tel: +358 50 4622125
Petteri Karttunen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saastamoinen Foundation
tel: +358 40 5001053
Arto Mäenmaa, Executive Director, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation
tel: +358 50 2536