About us

The KAUTE Foundation supports research in economics and technical sciences and the dissemination of research results.

We award grants for research, teaching and studying. We support the best researchers in the field to produce results that reach not just the scientific community, but also businesses and decision-makers.

Our aim is to help Finnish society and businesses to reform in an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable way. Research supported by KAUTE can have a significant impact on how we live and on the wellbeing of Finland, the world and people in the future.

It is important to us that research is also applied in practice. We actively communicate about research and bring together researchers, businesses and decision-makers.

Our strategy 2024-2026

In the strategy period 2024–2026, we will focus on funding high-level research, especially through working grants and mobility grants. We want to be a long-term partner for researchers and a link between researchers and actors who utilize research.

Read more about our strategy

Our history

The Foundation was founded in 1956 to reflect a renewed co-operation between Finnish business and engineering graduates in the post-war era. KAUTE Foundation was founded by the Finnish Association of Business School Graduates and the Alumni Association for Aalto University’s Technology Students (Pyöreän Tornin Kilta).

In the 1950s Finnish economy was undergoing strong post-war growth. The nation knew that shared welfare required both hard work and expertise. The need for more highly-educated workers was especially pressing. KAUTE Foundation was founded to provide financial support for studying, teaching, and research within business and engineering sciences.

Executive Director


Tuomas Olkku, M.Sc. (Econ.)

Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Foundation’s Board, organising financial management, the payment of grants, executing assignments concerning investment assets, and liaising with special funds. Tuomas has worked as the Executive Director of KAUTE since the beginning of 2020.


The Foundation’s Board is responsible for the KAUTE Foundation’s activities and the management of its assets.

Virpi Tuunainen

Prof. Virpi Tuunainen

Chairperson of the Board, 2023–

Virpi Tuunainen is Associate dean of research and international cooperation and professor of Information Systems Science at Aalto University School of Business. Her current research focuses on e.g. platform economy and users’ trust on artificial intelligence.


Mika Parkkari M.Sc. (Soc.Sci.), M.Sc. (Econ.)

Board member, 2023–

Mika Parkkari works at the Association of Business School Graduates in Finland as a special adviser on labor market activities and social impact. Parkkari has also worked for a long time in education policy at both the Association of Business School Graduates in Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Parkkari is a strong advocate of education.


PhD (Tech) Nani Pajunen

Board member 2022–

Nani Pajunen is a leading specialist in Sitra’s Sustainability solutions theme. In her work she is looking for solutions on how the global economy can work within the limits of the earth’s capacity. Nani is convinced that we will save the world together by making saving the world a profitable business. Nani has a PhD (Tech.) degree from Aalto University.


Prof. Markus Granlund

Board member, 2021–

Markus Granlund is Professor of Accounting and Dean at the University of Turku School of Economics. His research interests cover a wide range of issues in the design and operation of management and information systems.


Janne Viskari, M.Sc. (Tech)

Board member, 2019–

Janne Viskari is the Director General of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Janne is a Master of Science. He is an expert and advocate of the digitalisation of society.


KAUTE’s Delegation consists of nine members, of whom the Finnish Business School Graduates ry (FBSG) and Pyöreän Tornin Kilta ry (PKT) each appoint four members. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (TEM) appoints one member. The members of the Delegation are elected for three calendar years at a time. The Delegation elects the Foundation’s Board and auditors, approves the Foundation’s financial statements and action plan, and oversees the Foundation’s activities.

Investment activities

The purpose of KAUTE’s investment activities is to enable the Foundation to operate and distribute grants. In accordance with the Foundations Act, the Foundation’s assets must be invested productively and safely. The goal of the investment activities is to secure the real value of the assets to be invested and achieve a better long-term return than the benchmark index. 

Our main activity consists of awarding research funding in the fields of economics and technical sciences on the basis of applications. The amount of grants to be awarded is confirmed in the Foundation’s budget. The aim is to distribute 50–60% of the current return and about 2% of the funds in the long term in grants, while taking into account fluctuations in the value of investments. About 60% of the investments are equity investments, 20% are fixed income investments and 20% are alternative investments.

The market value of the investment portfolio on 31.12.2022 totaled 28.6 million euros. The return on the investment portfolio in 2022 was -11.5% (benchmark index -10.8%).

KAUTE’s investment activities are decided by the Foundation’s Board of Directors with the support of an investment committee consisting of investment professionals. The members of the investment committee are: