Vice Premier of China Mr Ma Kai presented on Monday 29th September, the honorary Friendship Awards. It is the People’s Republic of China’s highest award for “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress”.
Friendship Award was awarded to Finnish Professor Yrjö Sotamaa in a grand ceremony in Beijing in the Great Hall of the People. A total of 100 foreign citizens were awarded, among them two from the Nordic countries.
Professor Sotamaa is a long-standing President of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (1986-2008) and the first President of the design universities global CUMULUS Association (2001-2007).
He has actively developed university, innovation and design cooperation between Finland and China. He served in 2010-2013 as Executive Vice Director of the Sino-Finnish Centre established together by Aalto University and Tongji University in Shanghai. Yrjö Sotamaa was also the Chief Representative of the Helsinki World Design Capital 2012 project in China and leader of the biggest satellite event of World Design Capital 2012 project, the Radical Design Week in Shanghai 2012. The Aalto-Tongji Design Factory of the Sino-Finnish Centre is a pilot project of new learning culture in China.
Source: Embassy of Finland in China