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Hele Savin

A brighter future

Aalto University's black silicon solar cells broke the world record in terms of energy conversion ratio and are perfect for northern conditions.

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The black silicon solar cells developed by professor Hele Savin and her research group have broken records with an efficiency ratio of 22,1 %. The previous record was under 19 %.

Black cells can capture solar radiation from low angles and can generate more electricity over the duration of one day than traditional cells. This is a great advantage in the Northern Hemisphere.

The goal of the team is to apply the technology to other cell structures in the near future. The development of the cells fabricated last year will continue in the forthcoming “BLACK” project which is supported by the European Union.

Olli Enne

A studio in the garden

Olli Enne designed an ecological mini house for his final thesis that combines the qualities of a detached house and a small apartment.

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The demand for small apartments will increase in the future as the world’s metropolitans grow. Almost three out of four households in Finland contain only one or two people. Olli Enne has devised an innovative solution called Yksiö puutarhassa. A house that is easy to build and can even be located in your garden.

The two-story, 49 square metre timber houses can be produced on an industrial scale and would be perfect for location on one of the thousands of the unused plots in Helsinki metropolitan area.

The design of the house is simple with adaptable stairs, terrace and kitchen to suit personal tastes.

“There are ready-made industrial solutions available and handy people can build these from recycled materials” suggest Enne. He sees a huge potential in small houses and feels Yksiö puutarhassa could be an ecologic home for millions around the world. Single-family homes breed new forms of urban life and make it possible to have a small homestead in the heart of the city.

Aalto provides students with a foundation for innovative and ambitious solutions designed for the future. Anyone can make a change.

Photo: Marko Laukkarinen

Hyères Fashion Festival

Three collections from Aalto University make the final at Hyères Fashion Festival

The judges of the annual competition represent the top international figures in the fashion world.

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Three out of ten collections in the 2015 Hyères Fashion Festival Finals were designed by Aalto University students. In recent years, the first prize has gone to Aalto twice. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Hyères Fashion Festival is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious competitions in its field, and has served as a stepping stone for several famous international designers.

The jury consists of the biggest influencers in the global fashion industry. The competition is organised by the same producers and casting directors, who create shows for well-known fashion houses such as Chanel and Balenciaga at the Paris fashion week.

Kirsikka Saari

Oscar nomination for a short film

A short film entitled "Do I have to take care of everything?" written by Aalto University student Kirsikka Saari got an Oscar nomination and won a prize at the Aspen short film festival.

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Kirsikka Saari studies screenwriting at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography. Her short film “Do I have to take care of everything?” received an Oscar nomination in the category of short fiction films. Tuffi Films produced the film and Professor Pietari Koskinen did the sound design.

The film, which tells a story about a family’s busy morning was also awarded as the best comedy at the Aspen Short Film Festival. This honour means the film can qualify for entry to the Academy Awards competition.

Product Design Gala 2015

The next generation of product development

Aalto University strives to train the world's best product developers.
The Product Design Gala 2015 showcases the output of various teams.

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Students of Aalto’s product development course have presented products and prototypes created together with corporate sponsors at the Product Design Gala at the Design Factory.

The course involved working in groups comprising students of technology, design and economics. Business partners involved in the course included Audi, Fortum, KONE, Unicef and Wärtsilä. Some projects were initiated by Aalto University’s researchers while others were based on the students’ own ideas.


A better mobile

The three-year AppCampus programme has helped application developers become growth entrepreneurs and create innovative mobile apps.

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Launched by Aalto University and Microsoft in 2012, the three-year AppCampus programme has provided funding and support to help application developers create better quality and more innovative mobile apps.

Worldwide interest in the programme has put of Finland in a strong position as a global hub for mobile development and a favourable place for app-oriented start-ups.

The 315 applications published under the programme have been downloaded nearly seven times more frequently than the applications available from the Windows Phone Store. A survey carried out by AppCampus revealed that at least 850 new jobs have been created in the companies involved in the process.


Getting businesses up and running

More than 13,000 people from 80 countries took part in Slush this year.
Over 3,600 companies, 750 funders and 700 media representatives.

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November 2014 saw the 8th year of Slush – the start-up and technology event held in Helsinki. The event brought together over 13,000 participants from 80 countries. Numerous companies utilised the ecosystem services provided for entrepreneurs at the Aalto Small Business Centre.

The low-priced premises, free of charge courses, contacts and direct business coaching offered by the Start-Up Centre are a big help for companies looking to get off the ground. ‘Being at Slush was great for us as we had the opportunity to tell interested parties about our company. The fact that we are involved in the Start-Up Centre business accelerator seems to increase people’s confidence in us,’ says Aniekan Okono, HR Consultant.

Otaniemi innovation hub

Room for thought

Science and art meet technology and business at the cradle of innovation in Otaniemi. Participants include domestic and international companies and communities.

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Aalto University is developing premises in the heart of Otaniemi to facilitate hands-on cooperation between the university and Finnish and international companies and communities. The new premises will support Aalto University’s goal of promoting innovation and commercial activities stemming from the university’s research and other activities.

Science and art meet technology and business at this innovation hub.

The supplementary services will facilitate cooperation between differing stakeholders and the university. The innovation hub is located next to the soon to be completed Aalto University metro station.


Treatment method receives seven-figure sum in funding

The Aalto University spin-off company will use the funds to commercialise a method for painless lengthening of limbs.

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Synoste provides a method for bone extension using a smart metal. The company received seven-figure funding and plans to use it to commercialise a painless and safe implant treatment.

The method is based on R&D work carried out by Synoste at Aalto University. It differs from traditional bone extension in that it leaves no skin-penetrating particles after the treatment. Patients can perform the lengthening treatment themselves by using a home treatment device designed by Synoste. The treatment process takes 1–2 years.


Thinner than thin nanotechnology

Canatu develops transparent carbon nanomaterial membranes for electronics manufacturers.

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The Finnish company Canatu produces the thinnest conductive carbon films based on nanobuds in the world. The company was founded in 2004 as a spin-off from a research team at the Helsinki University of Technology.

The innovation is based on a new kind of carbon structure. This high-tech material is created via a simple process with inexpensive raw materials.

The film successfully meets the market need for increasingly thinner mobile devices – it is 50% thinner than any predecessors. The nanobud film does not reflect light and also scatters light as little as possible to ensure the screens are sharper and contrast is improved.


Brain stimulation company listed on the stock market

A device developed by Nexstim has achieved very promising results in the rehabilitation of stroke victims in the United States.

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A device developed by Nexstim, an Aalto-born brain stimulation company, has achieved very promising results in the rehabilitation of stroke victims in the United States. In the past neurosurgeons have had to drill open a patient’s skull in order to avoid damaging the brain command centres. With the NBS brain stimulation method the same operation can be carried out safely from outside the skull.

These devices are in use in all Finnish university central hospitals and around twenty other countries from Russia to Germany and even as far afield as Japan. In the United States the NBS-based NBT device has been used in the treatment of brain diseases and e.g. the rehabilitation of stroke victims.

Nexstim was founded in 2000 to commercialise the research carried out at the present-day Aalto University and the Helsinki University Central Hospital.

Zen Robotics

Robots that will better the world

ZenRobotics manufactures artificial intelligence for robots, which learn to be efficient in work that is dangerous for people and yet necessary: recycling.

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ZenRobotics is a spin-off company that commercialises the results of a computational neuroscience research group led by Academy Research Fellow Harri Valpola. The world’s first recycler robot, ZenRobotics Recycler, was designed by the group to recover valuable raw materials from among waste by means of ordinary industrial robots and smart technology. The cost-effective robot purifies waste thoroughly and round-the-clock.

A chaotic and complex waste-sorting environment is too demanding for ordinary robots and dangerous for people. New technology is needed to solve an old problem.

Contact information for the donor engagement team:

Hannu Seristö

Vice President

+358 50 383 2478


Teppo Heiskanen

Director of Advancement and Corporate Engagement

+358 50 363 3223


Sinikka Heikkala

Head of Donor Engagement

+358 400 908 899


Elina Karvonen

Advisor, Donor Engagement

+358 50 364 1446


Jaana Tammisto

Advisor, Donor Engagement

+358 50 409 5772


Jenni Pyytövaara

Senior Advisor, Donor Engagement

+358 50 308 1162


Marita Halme

Coordinator of Advancement and Corporate Engagement

+358 40 576 1349


Katja Hampunen

Communications Coordinator, Advancement and Corporate Engagement

+358 50 475 0120