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 1 February 2023. We are looking for bold, research-based, visionary, and boundary-crossing solutions supporting the building of a more sustainable global future.

The future is not just a place we are going to, we create it. The University of Turku opens a call for the Pentti Malaska Futures Award for the fourth time. We are looking for bold, research-based innovations that can help in building a more sustainable global future. 

"Complex changes challenge planetary well-being. We need bold, visionary thinking, research, innovations and productivity that promote sustainability. With the Futures Award, we want to support work that produces necessary solutions for sustainability", says Director Juha Kaskinen from the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku which coordinates the applications for the Award. 

The Pentti Malaska Futures Award is €30,000. The application period is 1 February–28 April 2023. The main criteria for the innovations participating in the competition are: 

  • sustainable development 
  • visionary thinking 
  • academia–business collaboration 
  • boundary-crossing approach to research and society 

The competition is open to Nordic actors and teams with a future-oriented and multidisciplinary 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 to be 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: Linda Fröberg-Niemi (Director, CleanTurku, Turku Business Region), Antti Salminen (Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Turku), Vesa Silfver (Managing Director, Motiva Ltd) and Satu Teerikangas (Professor, Management & Organisation, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku).  

The winners of the previous Futures Awards include Woodio Ltd (2021) that develops ecological waterproof solid wood composite, and Solar Foods Ltd (2019) that developed a new kind of nutritious protein by utilising air and electricity. The first Award was granted to EnviRate in 2017 for developing a mobile application for assessing the state of the environment.

The Award honours Professor Pentti Malaska’s (1934–2012) lifework in futures research. Pentti Malaska was a professor of business mathematics and statistics at Turku School of Economics. He 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 a multidisciplinary research, education and development organisation. The Centre produces insightful futures knowledge to promote the transformation towards more ecologically balanced, economically sustainable, and socially and culturally equal futures. The Centre also aims to give tools for responsible decision-making and inspire public debate.

Created 01.02.2023 | Updated 25.08.2023