University of Turku Invites Applications for the Pentti Malaska Futures Award


The University of Turku opens the call for applications to the Pentti Malaska Futures Award on the national Futures Day on 1 March 2019. We are looking for research-based, visionary, and boundary-crossing solutions supporting the building of a more sustainable global future.

Pentti Malaska palkinnon tunnus

The future isn’t just some place we are going to, we create it. The first Finnish Futures Day is held on 1 March 2019. The Futures Day is an international theme day and its goal is to raise futures awareness and strengthen the belief in the future both in individuals and societies.

As a part of the Futures Day, the University of Turku opens a call for the Pentti Malaska Futures Award for the second time. We are looking for a research-based innovation that can help in building a more sustainable global future.

– Our planet and the entire humanity will meet more and more complex challenges in the coming years. In order to solve these problems, we need brave, ground-breaking and visionary thinking and research. With the Futures Award, we want to encourage this kind of work, says Director Juha Kaskinen from the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku which coordinates the application for the Award.

The Pentti Malaska Futures Award is €30,000. The application period is 1 March–28 April 2019. The main criteria for the innovations participating in the competition are:

  • sustainable development
  • visionary thinking
  • academia-business collaboration
  • boundary-crossing approach

The competition is open to Nordic futures researchers and multidisciplinary research teams with a future-oriented research approach. The new and innovative solutions we are looking for should be based on academic research or be in some other way closely linked to the academic world. To be eligible, the solution has to be already developed, a prototype, tested or patented, or the solution’s innovation potential has been proven in some other way. Solutions that are only at the idea stage cannot be entered into the competition.

The members of the panel deciding the winner are: Toni Ahlqvist (Research Director, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Sirkka Heinonen (Professor, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Kaisa Leiwo (Research Director, Turku Chamber of Commerce), Saara-Sofia Sirén (Member of Parliament), Kalervo Väänänen (Rector, University of Turku), Thomas Westerholm (Director, Centre for Collaborative Research, University of Turku).

The Award honours Professor Pentti Malaska’s (1934–2012) lifework in futures research. Pentti Malaska was a professor of financial mathematics and statistics at Turku School of Economics and established the Finland Futures Research Centre in 1992. Malaska was a radical, visionary thinker whose research interests crossed a wide range of academic disciplines from mathematics and electrical engineering to philosophy, ecology and strategic management. His work boldly crossed sectoral boundaries between the academic world, business world and societal influencing.

The Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku founded in 1992 is the largest Nordic research centre focusing on futures research and foresight. Futures research is a multidisciplinary field that studies a variety of topics extensively, and brings together the approaches and research results of the more traditional disciplines. The cornerstone of the Finland Futures Research Centre’s philosophy is to promote sustainable, i.e. ecologically balanced, economically efficient, socially equal, and multicultural future.  

Created 01.03.2019 | Updated 13.06.2019