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Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja to visit Finland 5-8 September 2016

Julkaistu 08.09.2016

Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja were presented with 13 top companies within OuluHealth ecosystem

The initiative to deepen cooperation in healthcare between the Nordic countries was welcomed

The Norwegian royal couple ended their four-day state visit by getting a glimpse of the future of healthcare in a high-level seminar "Citizen centred healthcare" at OuluHealth Labs in the University Hospital. Earlier on the day, the program included a study visit to the University of Oulu, Nokia as well as lunch arranged by the city of Oulu in honour of the King and Queen.

The seminar was chaired by Kyösti Oikarinen, Dean at the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Oulu. OuluHealth Labs seminar also attracted participants from Norway: the Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie, around 10 Norwegian healthcare companies as well as representatives of the Norwegian government and research institutions. Program director Jon Helge Andersen informed about Norway's goal of improving the flow of information between the public and private sector.

Deepening and expanding the Nordic health care cooperation into new sectors was an idea proposed at the seminar. The proposal was welcomed by Professor Jarmo Reponen from the University of Oulu Information Systems in Health Care, Director Maritta Perälä-Heape at the Centre for Health and Technology in Oulu and Stein Olav Skrøvseth, head of Norwegian Centre for E-health Research.

About 15 top companies within the OuluHealth ecosystem attended the seminar. Six of them had the opportunity to present their products personally to the royal couple. Tuomo Liedes, the head of Norwegian Eyelife AS’s branch in Finland, presented a pocket-sized ultrasound device developed in Oulu that works wirelessly with a tablet device. Petteri Lahtela, the CEO of Ouraring Oy, introduced the company's wellness ring, and Teijo Fabritius, the CEO of Ginolis Oy, their revolutionary skin cancer sensor. Short presentations were also given by the Marketing Director of Polar Electro Marjo Piirto, the CEO of Optomed Seppo Kopsala and the co-founder of Peili Vision Mikko Kontio.

The Finnish state was represented by Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila as well as Minister Ole Norrback. Altogether 15 speeches were held at the seminar, among others the Director of Healthcare and Social Welfare at the City of Oulu Kirsti Ylitalo-Katajisto, Director of The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District Hannu Leskinen and Program Director of OuluHealth Noora Jansson.

Finnish Companies present (13) at the seminar:

Ginolis, 9Solutions , Eyelife SA, Innokas Medical, IoT Instruments, Ouraring, Kide Systems, Medanets, QuietOn, Tieto, Optomed, Peili Vision and Polar Electro.

More information:

Program Director
Noora Jansson
+358 40 7532 917

Account Director
Heidi Tikanmäki
+358 40 5420 007

OYS TestLab, Oulu University Hospital (OYS)

The distinguished guests visited OYS TestLab, a test environment at the Oulu University Hospital. OYS TestLab tests and develops ideas in an authentic setting. The aim is to adopt innovations quicker, and to promote the commercialization and export of products. OYS TestLab is part of OuluHealth Labs, a unit consisting of services provided by the Oulu University Hospital, Oulu City Welfare Services and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences allowing the public and private sectors to collaborate in a genuine way. Seamless cooperation between these organizations enables innovative solutions from a patient's point of view.

OuluHealth ecosystem

OuluHealth ecosystem is a network of healthcare actors and developers in the region. The special strength of Oulu is Life Science (biosciences, health and well-being) and expertise in the ICT sector. Most key players are located in Kontinkangas campus around the Oulu University Hospital. International networks are strong and versatile. OuluHealth is known for its culture of experimentation and its ability to provide innovative solutions to global welfare challenges. In addition, it promotes individual solutions for health and well-being. The aim is to create efficient and effective social and health services and the world’s most integrated university hospital. Connected Health innovation platforms promote business growth.

Oulu is the fastest growing city region in the Nordic countries

Oulu is the Nordic region's fastest growing economic region and home to Europe's youngest and most satisfied population of 250,000 inhabitants. Of all the cities in Finland, tax revenues grew the most in Oulu in 2015. According to a study conducted by NORDSTAT, the city region in Oulu has been the fastest growing region in the Nordic countries during the past 20 years. Oulu has been named the northern capital of Northern Scandinavia in the Arctic Europe growth region, and is amongst the world's seven most intelligent communities. The university town is home to a research university and some 30,000 university students. One third of the city residents have a university degree.

The northern capital of Scandinavia boasts a very diverse economic structure in basic industries, chemical, wood processing and metal sectors, and internationally Oulu is renowned for its many high tech companies. Hundreds of Oulu-based companies are pioneers in international technological know-how. For example, 2.6 billion people around the world use mobile technology developed in Oulu every day. Currently, Oulu is developing 5G network technology, and 5G test network is already widely used by many businesses. Oulu is also a significant centre for many startups.

The airport is the second busiest in Finland with one million passengers, and has also direct flights to Northern Norway and Sweden. Oulu is home to one of Europe's best ice hockey teams, the world's northernmost baseball stadium and a symphony orchestra. The city works closely with other actors in the Arctic Europe region in order to succeed in the competition for the best experts, businesses and investments.


BusinessOulu is responsible for the implementation of the city's overall business policy, services to growth companies, as well as promoting exports and sales, investments and jobs. BusinessOulu with its international networks operates as a partner and enabler of growth for businesses, particularly in the Northern Dimension, where it is responsible for and participates in the operations of Finnish Business Hubs. BusinessOulu develops business within different sectors and in cooperation with various partners. It contributes to successful meetings, congresses and events. The innovation environments, ecosystems and think tanks in Oulu are creating new ideas and initiatives boldly and successfully. The aim is a rapid business development and a significant increase in start-up investments. The main objectives of the city’s economic policy are to increase exports, create new jobs and promote investments. Oulu wants to be the leading region in developing wireless 5G networks, a pioneer in the health sector in the future and become the leading event city in Northern Scandinavia.

Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA)

Oulu Innovation Alliance is an alliance of the City of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OAMK), Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education (Osekk), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Oulu University Hospital, Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland, and Technopolis Plc., that strives to build Oulu as the best city in the world in five focus areas.

International Oulu is the place to be for business growth and new businesses. Oulu Innovation Alliance’s goals for the years 2016-2020 are:

  • Enhance Oulu’s attractiveness by an innovative ecosystem boosting the establishment, development and internationalization of companies based in the state-of-art expertise.
  • Implement Arctic and Northern potential

Oulu Innovation Alliance’s five focus areas, i.e. ecosystems, are OuluHealth, Industry 2026, Northern City with Attractive Opportunities, Agile Commercialization, and ICT and Digitalization.