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Nokia Foundation grants professor Yrjö Neuvo a recognition award for achievements in development of postgraduate education

  • Professor, doctor Yrjö Neuvo has done remarkable work in developing postgraduate education and helping newly graduated non-medical doctors become employed at Finnish companies.
  • Nokia Foundation promotes and supports Finnish scientific development and education in information technology, telecommunications and related scientific disciplines.  

25 November 2021  

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced the Nokia Foundation 2021 Recognition Award has been granted during a virtual ceremony to professor Yrjö Neuvo for achievements in developing postgraduate education and supporting newly graduated doctors find employment at Finnish companies.

Each year more than 1,800 doctors graduate from Finnish universities. Compared to countries like U.S., Germany and Sweden, the employment rate of doctors is low in Finland. Enhancing post-doctorate job opportunities is crucial to the long-term competitiveness and strategic renewal of Finnish companies.

Hannu Kauppinen, Chairman of the board of Nokia Foundation, said: “There’s an increasing need to employ non-medical doctors in the private sector. Especially Finnish technology companies, Nokia among others, have seen the need for highly skilled experts who can help in driving innovation and renewing products and services. Strong relationships between universities and companies, and making the latest research results available are crucial in developing the Finnish economy and society. With this award we want to demonstrate our appreciation for the important work that Yrjö Neuvo is doing to help phd graduates become employed at Finnish companies, but also his work in developing the needed skills amongst postdocs.”

Yrjö Neuvo is seen to have pursued three career paths. He worked as the professor of Digital Signal Processing at Tampere University of Technology. He has also worked as a leader at Nokia Corporation. Nokia Foundation now recognizes his outstanding achievements as a professor at Aalto University, specifically for the development of doctoral education and collaboration with Finnish companies. The Nokia Foundation is also highlighting the establishment of the PoDoCo (PostDocs for Companies) program for postdoctoral researchers and the Bit Bang course for the doctoral students.

The Bit Bang course was arranged for the first time during the academic year 2008–2009. Since then, the course has been organized a total of nine times as a multidisciplinary program for postgraduate students from universities across Finland. Yrjö Neuvo designed and implemented this multidisciplinary education program that combines technology, business sciences and art, before the multidisciplinary Aalto University was founded.

During each Bit Bang course a group of students attend a field trip abroad and visit a technology hub with leading companies and research centers to understand the research, development and innovation strategies of the country in question. As part of the course, students have published their own Bit Bang related books that are freely available on the Internet.

The PoDoCo program was established to support the employment opportunities of doctors in the industry. The first projects started in 2016. A project is a joint effort between postdocs, a company and the funding foundation. A PoDoCo project usually lasts two years and consists of two phases, research and targeted research.  

In cooperation with the postdocs, a PoDoCo project aims to generate new information on how to develop and grow its business for the company involved. The projects have managed to investigate and develop new technologies, new ways of working, business concepts as well as identify new market trends and demands. The PoDoCo program currently cooperates with 11 foundations.  

During its existence the PoDoCo program has witnessed successful projects with several companies. The projects represent all scientific fields, although 35% of the projects have been related to the fields of natural sciences, like physics and chemistry, and engineering sciences. The program has been quite impactful as in 90% of the PoDoCo projects, the company ended up recruiting the postdoc involved with the project.

Nokia Foundation has granted over 1,850 scholarships and other grants during its 26-year existence. In 2021, the Foundation will grant scholarships and awards totaling around 430,000 euros.

Nokia foundation awards

Nokia foundation awards

About the Nokia Foundation

Nokia Foundation’s purpose is to support the scientific development of information and telecommunications technologies and to promote education in the sector in Finland. Nokia Foundation provides scholarships and awards for this mission. The Foundation was established on the initiative of Nokia Oyj in 1995; it is an independent, non-profit organization under Finnish foundation law.

About Nokia

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