As Finland’s oldest and largest university of technology and architecture, with over a century in the field, the Helsinki University of Technology has played a prominent role in building Finland’s industrial and economic competitiveness. This tradition will continue when the university becomes part of Finland’s new Aalto University in 2010.
The roots of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) stretch back to 1849, when the Technical School of Helsinki began the systematic teaching of technology in Finland, as part of efforts to increase the competitiveness of local industry. After being given university status in 1908, TKK has awarded doctoral and master’s degrees in technology and architecture and has become the leading Finnish university in science, technology, and architecture, with a solid international reputation.
While 102 new students were admitted in 1908, the number totalled more than 1,000 in 2008. From 20 first degrees in 1908, today’s TKK awards over a thousand annually, and has awarded more than 35,000 first degrees and more than 2,200 doctorates over the years.
Part of Aalto University
Today’s TKK is structured around four faculties, 25 departments, and nine separate institutes, which offer 19 degree programmes to around 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Eight units at the university currently hold Centre of Excellence status within the national network coordinated by the Academy of Finland. In addition, TKK is also a member of three joint Centres of Excellence.
|The Helsinki University of Technology celebrated 100 years of university-level education and research in technology in 2008.
Looking ahead, TKK will be one of the partners – along with the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki – in Aalto University, Finland’s new ‘university of innovation’. Scheduled to become operational in 2010 and strongly supported by both the Finnish state and Finnish industry, Aalto University is being created to encourage new types of knowledge creation and innovation.
TKK’s close relations with the business world are reflected in the more than 1,000 R&D projects that the university takes part in annually in partnership with companies such as Nokia and other ICT companies, and businesses in the forest products, mechanical engineering, chemicals, and nanotechnology, as well as the Finnish Defence Forces.
Industry is a partner in one project in two; and more than a third of projects are international, with the main emphasis on European cooperation in research and training.
Otaniemi, where TKK is based, is home to a wide range of scientific and technological activities, and has been the most important centre of high technology in northern Europe for some years.
TKK and several other institutes such as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, together with hundreds of high-tech companies, form a unique and innovative community, and one that has been named the EU’s ‘Most Innovative Region’ a total of three times.
The Helsinki Metropolitan Region, for its part, has been ranked as the EU’s most competitive region in the European Competitiveness Index twice.
Otaniemi is an excellent example of the close collaboration between public research organisations and industry that is so characteristic of the Finnish innovation system.