The University of Turku received new donations for over 2.4 M€ in 2023


The University of Turku received new donations totaling over 2.4 million euros in 2023. The amount consists of both direct donations and long-term commitments. Also in 2023, one million euros of previously donated funds were used directly to the benefit of research and education.

Direct donations collected in 2023 supported research in medicine, food technology, the sea and maritime transport, the acquisition of economic research data, and the botanic garden. In addition, the university received five-year donation commitments for the professorships of regional economy, hydrogen economy and  automation technology and a part-time professorship of palliative medicine. Also a three-year commitment to a professorship of practice in occupational health and occupational medicine was donated to the University.

Donated funds enable important research and development of new research ideas, methods and settings

In 2023, the University of Turku used money previously donated in total, approximately one million euros, for 34 different purposes. In 2023, the donation funds were used for new research in, for example, trade policy, the development of adolescent psychiatric treatment, the treatment of neurological diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases, and the purification of wastewater using sustainable biotechnical processes.

At the Faculty of Technology operates a center of excellence that focuses on the sustainable utilization and protection of water bodies. Substantial funds donated by Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki -association have been allocated to its research and teaching activities related to sustainable biotechnical processes. 

- We are particularly researching the purification of wastewater using microalgae, which not only aims to purify the water, but also to recycle the nutrients in the wastewater for reuse. We have assembled the largest photobioreactor in Finland at the Ruissalo garden for greenhouse wastewater treatment and recovery of nutrients with simultaneous algae cultivation. Donation funding was used to purchase equipment for algae harvesting and recirculation of water, which is a crucial part of the whole process. We use the bioreactor for both research and teaching purposes and we are aiming to build whole algal biorefinery facility, says Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, professor of molecular plant biology.

In the Faculty of Medicine, donation funds are distributed annually through the BlueSkies -project call, where the faculty finances new research ideas and educational innovations. BlueSkies seeks innovative, completely new and previously untested ideas that have not yet been funded elsewhere.

- In the BlueSkies search, we are looking for new and even surprising directions in medical research. The purpose is that the researcher gets new results with the support of funding, with which he can then prepare the next step. Last year, we decided to use the donation received from Planmeca, which enabled us to open our own BlueSkies search for dental research, says Eeva Rainio, faculty head of the Faculty of Medicine.

Donation funds allocated to business and economic sciences were used in 2023 for various purposes, for example, for the development of futures research and foresight expertise, and as a new opening, especially for research on global trade policy including geopolitics and security themes.

- In addition, as in previous years, entrepreneurship research and education which are important themes for many of our donors, have been supported with donation funds, says Markus Granlund, dean of the School of Economics.

Endowment-based professorships are investments made in particularly important research fields, interdisciplinary research themes or expertise in regionally important areas

In addition to direct use for research and education, the University of Turku already has a significant number of top experts in their fields working in professorships based either fully or partially on donation funds. 

In January 2024, the first professor of the subject of creative writing started at the Faculty of Humanities, when literary researcher and writer Olli Löytty was chosen as an assistant professor. The professorship was made possible by a significant donation from the Kone Foundation, which will thus develop the creative writing education and research at the University of Turku.

- Graduated students are employed in many different writing tasks. The professorship established with a donation from the Kone Foundation makes it possible to strengthen the teaching of creative writing and increase its research basis. Creative writing is a very popular minor subject for degree students and also a very popular subject at the Open University, says Jaakko Suominen, dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

The funds donated to the university, which are still awaiting a decision on their use, have been funded and their income will be used for the development of the entire university.

A donation to the university is a significant expression of support for a sustainable future. We thank all our donors for their commitment to the development of research and teaching at the University of Turku!

Created 28.02.2024 | Updated 04.03.2024