The Foundation was established in 1963 by Magnus Ehrnrooth, PhD to support research in mathematics and the natural sciences in Finland. Ehrnrooth himself had a doctorate in chemistry and was particularly interested in mathematics and astronomy.

Magnus Ehrnrooth initially donated half a million Finnish marks to the foundation, which formed the foundation’s initial capital. During its first years of operation, Ehrnrooth continued to donate property to the foundation, and together these donations amount to approximately 2.6 million euros in today’s value.

Today, the foundation annually awards grants of around two million euros to support research in mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, including medicinal chemistry each year. Additionally, the foundation awards scholarships aimed at developing the teaching of mathematics and the natural sciences in primary and secondary schools.

Since 1986, the foundation has annually awarded the Magnus Ehrnrooth Prize to a distinguished researcher in chemistry, physics, or mathematics.

The Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation is one of four Ehrnrooth Foundations. The Ehrnrooth Foundations are significant financiers of Finnish research and culture, collectively awarding grants totaling approximately 7 million euros annually. The other foundations are:

Today, the combined assets of the Ehrnrooth Foundations exceed 400 million euros. Together, these foundations enable the positive development of Finland’s already high-quality research to continue.

Magnus Ehrnrooth

Magnus Ehrnrooth (1901–1982) was born to Georg Ehrnrooth and Anna Gabriella (Ella) af Nyborg. Magnus Ehrnrooth studied chemistry and physics at the University of Helsinki and continued his studies in chemistry at the doctoral level, first in Germany and later in Helsinki at the end of the 1920s. During this time, Magnus Ehrnrooth also worked as an assistant at the chemical department of the University of Helsinki.

As a university assistant, Magnus Ehrnrooth modernized teaching at the university and advocated for the introduction of practical methods in laboratory work. In 1932, Magnus Ehrnrooth obtained his doctorate with a thesis titled Bidrag till kännedom om alkaloidernas överföring i utspädda organiska lösningsmedel [Contributions to the Knowledge of the Transfer of Alkaloids in Dilute Organic Solvents] (University of Helsinki 1932).

After the passing of Magnus Ehrnrooth’s father, Georg Ehrnrooth, in 1935, Magnus dedicated his efforts to managing the significant land and estate assets he inherited. Like his father and brother, Magnus Ehrnrooth was driven by a strong desire to contribute to the welfare of society. Today, the foundation established by Magnus Ehrnrooth stands as the strongest manifestation of his philanthropic work. Magnus Ehrnrooth also generously donated funds for classical music and youth activities. In 1955, he donated land to the Finnby Youth Association, which erected the Magnusborg youth house on the plot.

Magnus Ehrnrooth served for 16 years in the Borgå City Council and on the boards of the Borgå District Hospital and Helsinki University Hospital. In 1965, Magnus Ehrnrooth published a monumental biography of his great-uncle, General Casimir Ehrnrooth. Magnus Ehrnrooth had a keen interest in family history, and eight years later, he published a family history of the Plagman-Ehrnrooth lineage. Beyond his family, Magnus Ehrnrooth was interested in classical literature and he was a skilled pianist.