The Wihuri Foundation grants 14.7 millions for science, arts, and societal activities
In 2023, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation distributes a record sum to promote science, arts, and societal activities. Founded in 1942, the foundation has distributed over 420 million euros in today’s currency throughout its history.
Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation awards its record sum of 14.7 million euros this year to science (66%), arts (19%), and societal activities (15%) in the form of grants and other forms of support.
The majority of the funding, just under 11 million euros, was granted through the general grant application call held in May 2023. The foundation received over 5,600 applications in the spring, with grants applied totaling over 135 million euros. The number of applications increased by just over a quarter compared to the previous year, and grants were awarded to approximately 8% of applicants.
A total of 332 individuals or working groups received grants, along with 119 organizations, making a combined total of 451 grant recipients.
Science, arts, and social activities
This year’s grant recipients are involved in various activities, including producing new research on sustainable forestry, exploring the possibilities of synthetic biology, improving children’s online safety, and creating new performing arts communities.
“We received extremely high-quality applications this year. Current phenomena and challenges, such as the use of technology in art, the conflict in Ukraine, and issues related to climate change and biodiversity, are strongly reflected in the funded projects,” says Arto Mäenmaa, the executive director of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Full-time working grants for doctoral work, post-doctoral research, or artistic work were awarded to 143 grant recipients.
The majority of grant recipients use the funding for scientific research, covering a wide range of fields, including economic sciences, technical sciences, naturals sciences and social sciences, as well humanities. The grant allocation includes 160 doctoral grants and 25 post-doctoral grants. Two researchers were awarded homing grants to establish their own research groups upon returning to Finland.
The foundation also supports longer-term research projects. Aalto University will receive a total of 750,000 euros over the next three years for a four-year interdisciplinary research project on sustainable energy systems. The Rule of Law Centre will receive a total of 300,000 euros over three years for a four-year project aimed at developing new research on rule of law issues in Finland and globally.
Grants were awarded to various areas of the arts, including acquisition of musical instruments, development of performances, and artistic work in the fields of music, literature, theater, and dance. The National Theatre received 200,000 euros for the purchase of new stage lighting for their performances.
In the field of societal activities, support was provided for various initiatives, including voluntary national defense, museum activities, and cultural projects. Projects targeting children and young people were strongly represented. The Young Academy of Finland received 110,000 euros to further develop their popular “Meet a Scientist” service, which allows teachers across Finland to request suitable researchers for their lessons. Aseman Lapset ry was granted 100,000 euros for implementing the Walkers program, which enhances the well-being of young people.
Grant recipients in statistics
During the application process, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation collects information from grant applicants to gain a better understanding of the distribution of support.
Approximately 59% of individual applicants and working group leaders are between the ages of 25 and 39. The youngest grant recipient was born in 2014, and the oldest in 1931.
The highest number of grant recipients engaged in research come from the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and the University of Jyväskylä.
19% of individual applicants and working group leaders indicated a nationality other than Finnish, and in total, grant recipients represent 28 different nationalities.
Combined support from the Wihuri Foundation reaches 15 million
The support provided by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation for science, arts, and social activities will increase by 500,000 euros this year compared to the previous year (14.2 million euros).
This sum includes continued funding for previously awarded grants and reservations for joint grant programs with other foundations. Additionally, it covers the foundation’s own activities, such as funding for the Wihuri Research Institute, art acquisitions, artist residencies, and the ”kummimuseo” programme for modern art museums across Finland. The new museums selected for the programme in 2023 are Imatra Art Museum and Lönnström Art Museum in Rauma, both of which received 100,000 euros in funding for exhibition and public engagement projects realised in 2024–2025.
Founded in 1942, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation has distributed over 420 million euros in today’s currency throughout its history.
This year, The Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes also awarded the 150,000 euro Wihuri Sibelius Prize and the 150,000 euro Wihuri International Prize. The combined total of support from the Wihuri Foundations in 2023 thus reaches 15 million euros.