The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation was founded in 1935 and is celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010. During all of the Foundation's years of activity, its purpose has been to promote scientific research and literary activity in Finland. The foundation carries out this purpose by granting awards and stipends to scientists and persons active in the literary field, as well as to scientific institutions and establishments.
The basic capital of the Foundation consists of the assets that Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth bequeathed and donated in 1935, the value of which has increased very significantly since then. The Foundation is entitled to receive donations and bequests.
The purpose of the Foundation has always been to promote Finnish science and culture. According to the charter of foundation dated 26 October 1935 by Ella Ehrnrooth, the purpose is to "promote scientific research and literary activity and, to this end, use disposable means to assist scientists and persons active in the literary field or support scientific institutions and establishments". The basis for the Foundation's activities has remained unchanged over the years.
Grants are mainly given to Finnish citizens and to institutions and establishments operating in Finland. Usually grants are given based on applications addressed to the Foundation. However, the Board of Trustees can also nominate candidates. If needed, the Board may ask for statements from experts before making decisions about grants.
On 7 May 1935 the highly respected industrialist Georg Ehrnrooth made a testamentary provision, stating that an independent foundation was to be instituted. On 26 October 1935 his wife, Ella Ehrnrooth, confirmed a charter of foundation, by which the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation gained legal status as a foundation on 5 December 1935.
The Board of Trustees consists of members of the Ehrnrooth family and professors at the University of Helsinki. Ever since the Foundation was instituted, the work of the Board has been characterized by continuity. A good example of this is the fact that during its 75 years of activity, the Foundation has only had six chairmen of the board.
In the last decades the importance of the Foundation as a financer of scientific research and literary activity has grown. At the beginning of its activity the Foundation only awarded a few grants and awards. In 2009 it granted a total amount of slightly over 1.6 million euros to 133 people. The number of people who have received a grant from the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation exceeds one thousand.
In the 1990s the Foundation started to put an even stronger emphasis on literary, cultural and historical studies as well as on biological research. The responsibility for research in the "hard" sciences was explicitly transferred to the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation. With this division of labour and the increasing funds at its disposal, the importance of the Foundation in funding Finnish research has continued to grow especially within arts subjects, political sciences and biological sciences.
The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation is not the only foundation instituted by members of the Ehrnrooth family. Research and activities in different fields are supported also by the following foundations:
- The Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation. Promotes research in mathematics, physics, astronomy and chemistry.
- The Louise and Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation. Mainly promotes economic research.
- The Mary and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation. Promotes medical research.
The Ehrnrooth foundations are together worth a total of over 100 million euros. These foundations give a strong contribution towards the continuous positive development of top-level Finnish research.
The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation has decided to document its 75 years of activity by publishing a historical account that covers the years 1935–2010. The book has been written by Peter Stadius, Ph.D., and it will be published in Swedish and Finnish.
The historical account is titled "For scientific research and literary activity" and it contains many-sided information about the Foundation and its environment. The reader is given the opportunity to get acquainted with the cultural and social situation in which the Foundation was instituted, as well as its significance to Finnish science and general culture. The reader can also follow the positive development up until today. Its economic expansion has given the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation a continuously increasing role in science funding in Finland.
If you are interested in the book, you can order a copy from the foundation's agent, Harri Ahlberg, firstname.lastname@example.org.