Following the guidelines set by Vaisala’s Community Outreach Program, we sponsor a variety of different causes.
Professor Vilho Väisälä Award
Vaisala funds the bi-annual Professor Vilho Väisälä Award. The award was established in 1985 to encourage and stimulate interest in research in the field of environmental measurement instruments and methods of observation. It is administrated by the World Meteorological Organization, which selects the winners on a biennial basis. The award consists of a medal, diploma and a cash prize of USD 10,000.
In 2004, the WMO Executive Council decided to establish a second Professor Vilho Väisälä Award. The main focus of this new award is meteorological instrument work in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. At the same time, the WMO Executive Council adopted new guidelines for granting the Professor Vilho Väisälä Awards. Both awards are granted biannually in connection with the WMO TECO/METEOREX conference and carry a cash prize of USD 10,000. More information about the awards: www.wmo.int
Young Ambassadors Program
Vaisala sponsors the Finland-US Young Ambassadors scholarship program that sends 15 Finnish youngsters on a six week excursion to the United States. The program is aimed at 16–17 year old students who do well in their studies and have a special interest for environmental issues. The program is cooperation between the US Embassy in Finland, the Center for International Mobility (CIMO) and Youth For Understanding, an international exchange organization.
Young Ambassadors Scholarship Program focus on innovations in green technologies.
Millennium Technology Prize
Vaisala's success is based on a constant stream of world-class innovations. It is only natural that we are a proud supporter of the Finnish tribute for better life, The Millennium Technology Prize. The biannual prize is awarded to groundbreaking technological innovations that enhance the quality of people's lives in a sustainable manner. The next laureate will be awarded in 2016. Previous winners include Professor Stuart Parkin for discoveries leading to increased data storage density; Linus Torvalds for Linux, the open source operating system; Shinya Yamanaka for ethical stem cells research; and Michael Grätzel for dye-sensitized solar cells. In 2015, Vaisala participated in a Millenium Technology Prize event in Shanghai, which focused on "Cleantech and Urbanization" in order to promote nominations for high caliber candidates for the 2016 Prize.
New Children's Hospital
Vaisala is an honorary in-kind donator for the new children's hospital being built in Helsinki Finland in 2017. Vaisala will be contributing humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide measurement instruments to the hospital. The equipment is valued at an estimated EUR 225,000 and will be integrated into the hospital's building automation solution.
Helping Rural Schools in China
The team in Vaisala's Beijing Office in China has supported two schools in the poor rural areas the last five years. The supported schools are Changpo Primary School in Yongshan County, Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province and the Qingshuihe Boarding School, YuShu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The donations include clothes, books, stationary, toys and more, donated by Vaisala staff in China.
Climbing for a Cause
In April 2015, Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which killed over 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000 as hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless. Vaisala supported local authorities by providing data and equipment to safeguard the rescue operations.
The Finnish rap-artist Signmark and Olli Hartonen travelled to Nepal in the fall of 2015. Signmark raps in sign language, while Olli transfers these lyrics to sound. With their trip, the duo gathered funds to support the rebuilding of a local school in Kathmandu, to raise awareness around equality for handicapped children, and to establish opportunities to study music. Vaisala helped the artists to realize their dream, performing at Mount Everest Base Camp, while at the same time supporting the education of deaf children in the country.
Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Fund
In the 1960's, Professor Vilho Väisälä, the company's founder, donated Vaisala shares to the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. These shares were used to establish the Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Fund. The Fund provides grants annually for research in mathematics, physics, geophysics, meteorology and astronomy.
In 2015, the Fund granted a total of EUR 1.3 million to 81 researchers. The Fund's available grants are dependent on Vaisala's profits and thus the company has an economic responsibility towards the Fund.
Vaisala partners with Heureka Science Centre in Finland in order to increase awareness of atmospheric sciences among children and adolescents. As an example, Vaisala sponsors the Science on a Sphere exhibition at Heureka.