The Central Ostrobothnia regional committee of the Foundation for Economic Education (Liikesivistysrahasto) has elected CEO Paula Erkkilä as its new chairperson, succeeding the long-time chair, councillor of commerce Martti Eurola. Erkkilä will start on 1 October 2022.
The Foundation for Economic Education is a fund established in 1919, the purpose of which is to promote the interaction between economics research and business. With the proceeds accumulated from donations, and based on applications, the fund annually awards grants to business economists at various stages of their career development worth about five million euros. The biggest share of the grants is for academic research working at the dissertation and postdoctoral level. With its special funds, The Foundation for Economic Education moreover supports business research and education in universities of applied sciences. In addition, the aim of the three-year grants directed to research groups is to increase the impact and team-working in research.
The grant focus areas of the Foundation for Economic Education – Business Renewal, Data Economy, Future Sustainable Environment, Leadership Competence, and Entrepreneurship, Scaling and Growth – are part of supporting the growth of the Finnish economy, entrepreneurship, and business in the long term. The grant application period is from June 1 to August 15 each year.
The Foundation for Economic Education has a total of sixteen operational areas in Finland, which as a rule corresponds to the division of chambers of commerce. The purpose of the regional committees is to promote the association’s activities and recognition in their own area and to support the fund’s operations. This takes place by contributing to the acquisition of new members and collecting donations. Regional committees also take a stand on grant applications from their region.
Erkkilä is the CEO of the Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce, and has been involved in the regional committee of the Foundation for Economic Education for more than five years. – I feel that with my extensive business life and higher education network, I have a good starting point to help increase awareness of the fund’s possibilities in Central Ostrobothnia, says Paula Erkkilä.
Erkkilä has a PhD in economics from the University of Vaasa in 2012. – Through my own background, I know very well how competitive research funding is. The Foundation for Economic Education offers excellent opportunities to push the research in economics forward. I also see it as important that the fund’s operations can support the research goals of experts in business, adds Erkkilä.
The Foundation for Economic Education thanks Martti Eurola, the long-term chairperson of the Central Ostrobothnia regional committee, and warmly welcomes Paula Erkkilä to lead the fund’s Central Ostrobothnia operations. – Paula’s experience in academic research and her active role as the head of the Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce give the Central Ostrobothnia region of the Foundation for Economic Education enormous new opportunities to enhance regional grant and donation activities, says Johanna Vesterinen, CEO of the Foundation for Economic Education.