Finland is propelled by science

The Weisell Foundation has donated €100,000 to the natural sciences at the University of Helsinki. Science is a key to the wellbeing of nature and society, says Mikko Voipio, the foundation’s chair.

Registered a year ago, the Weisell Foundation is a newcomer among Finnish foundations. It is backed by the Väisälä family and a legacy donation.

The Weisell Foundation promotes scientific research, education, environmental protection, marine safety and cultural heritage research in marine environments, as well as their preservation. Last year, the foundation made donations to five universities. The University of Helsinki received a donation of €100,000 for its natural science disciplines.

“Healthy nature is the foundation of all life, whereas high-quality research is the lifeline of Finnish society,” says Mikko Voipio, chair of the board of the Weisell Foundation.

“In Finland, labour costs are not among the most affordable in the world, which makes it impossible to compete with quantity. Our competitive edge lies in top-level research and the ability to apply it,” says Voipio.

Finnish competitiveness is founded on exports, where state-of-the-art products are the only way to success.

“If Finland succeeds globally, we will have enough money to pay for everyone’s pensions. This is the hard truth.”

We need extensive high-quality basic research to ensure our competitiveness. It also lays a foundation for applied research, which will in time create global success stories through product development. An excellent example is Voipio’s family business, the Vaisala Corporation, a manufacturer of measuring devices and systems.

According to Voipio, the systematic application of scientific knowledge has led to the development of many high-quality products in Finland.

“Seppo Säynäjäkangas, the founder of Polar Electro, developed the wireless heart rate monitor. In the beginning of the 1980s, he started to apply ECG measurement conventions to a product suitable for everyday life. On today’s running tracks, heart rate monitors can be seen on every other wrist.”