Rector Minna Martikainen at the University of Vaasa anniversary celebration: "We are at the forefront of addressing the energy transition and the move towards a carbon-neutral society"
In her speech, Rector Minna Martikainen highlighted the core of the university's new strategy which was made public on Friday – the university's goal to be a strong university that through its research and education is at the forefront of addressing the energy transition and the move towards a carbon-neutral society.
– Solving this global issue requires all the university's fields of research and expertise in sustainable business, technology, and social sciences.
Martikainen emphasised that the university naturally brings together various stakeholders. The aim is for the University of Vaasa to be a respected partner in the largest energy and environmental business cluster in Europe.
– We work towards clean energy, economic growth, industrial innovations, as well as responsible consumption and production.
– We are truly proud of the businesses in the Vaasa region, the Vaasa energy cluster, the companies' investments in research and development, and above all, their ability to produce products and services for export.
Martikainen stressed the importance of maintaining the international competitiveness and attractiveness of the national economy. Companies need skilled workforce, and as there are fewer potential students at the beginning of the higher education pipeline than there are study places in Finnish universities, there is an increasing need for international talents. The University of Vaasa is becoming more international.
– I have now been a year in the role of rector. I am more certain than ever that important decisions are made together, through planning and negotiation. It is crucial that we see each other, listen to each other, and find common goals.
Hannu Mäntymaa: "Together, we can make a bigger impact"
The Managing Director of Wärtsilä Finland Hannu Mäntymaa gave a speech at the celebration and reminded everyone that one-third of Finland's energy technology exports are generated in the Vaasa region. EnergyVaasa, the largest energy technology cluster in the Nordic countries, recently received the Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic of Finland.
– All of this is based on Ostrobothnian entrepreneurship, a positive can-do attitude, a desire to be the best, and the willingness to work together, stated Mäntymaa.
Mäntymaa mentioned that Wärtsilä invests in research, innovation, and new technologies with the goal of being a global pioneer.
– No company can develop new solutions alone. We need collaboration. Together, we can make a bigger impact.
He emphasised that the development of future energy systems requires a comprehensive understanding of both the technical and business aspects of the entire system.
– The increase of renewable energy sources and ensuring energy self-sufficiency are directions in which Finland and the whole world will gradually move. You, students, will be the ones driving this change to completion – you have the enthusiasm and energy needed for significant changes.
The Managing Director of Microsoft Finland Mervi Airaksinen spoke about the keys to future success: digitalisation, green transition, and innovation.
New professors at the university, Xiaoshu Lu, Maciej Mikulski, Niina Mäntylä, and Miadreza Shafiekhah, also introduced themselves at the event.
Emma Lehtonen, the chair of the board of the Student Union, delivered greetings on behalf of the Student Union of the University of Vaasa.
– Today's students are the makers of tomorrow. We must ensure that there are skilled workers, researchers, and experts in the future.
University of Vaasa and Wärtsilä Finland agreed on extensive strategic partnership in education and research
At the anniversary celebration, the University of Vaasa and Wärtsilä Finland signed a comprehensive strategic agreement for collaboration in research and education. The goal of the agreement is to promote cooperation for sustainable well-being, competitiveness, and vitality. Read more.
University of Vaasa awarded its best research and teaching acts
During the anniversary celebration, the University of Vaasa awarded the research and teaching acts of the year. The Research Act of the Year 2023 was awarded to professors Annukka Jokipii and Harri Jalonen. Programme Manager and Assistant Professor Aušrinė Šilenskytė got the Teaching Act of the Year 2023. In addition, University Teacher Heini Pensar received the Good Teacher award and University Teacher Tahir Ali an honorary mention from the Students' Union of the University of Vaasa. Read more.