Who we are

Automotive & Circular Economy Clusters (ACE clusters)

Project type:
EU program: Renewing and Competent Finland 2021–2027, EU regional and structural policy program. Just Transition Fund (JTF)

7. The objective is a regionally just transition for discounting the use of peat, adapting the sector’s workforce and restoring adverse environmental impacts.

Project period:
1.9.2023 - 31.8.2025


The Oulu Automotive Cluster was established in 2019. The cluster includes representatives from 130 companies and 33 research, education, and development organizations, with 80 of these companies being from the Oulu region. The cluster focuses on business development and offers three services: sharing information about the automotive industry (share), connecting with customers and partners (find), and research collaboration (match). The cluster aims to be a significant and recognized player in the European automotive industry. BusinessOulu leads the cluster's activities, which have been supported by the ERDF-funded Automotive Cluster Development project.


The Circular Economy Cluster's activities were initiated at the beginning of 2022, coordinated by BusinessOulu, with the support of the ERDF-funded LIKE – Business from Circular Economy project. The cluster includes representatives from 99 companies and 13 research, education, and development organizations. The goal of the cluster is to bring together actors in the circular economy sector, assist companies in developing business in line with the circular economy, find partners, and increase companies' knowledge and expertise in circular economy. The objective is for Oulu to be recognized as one of Finland's strong circular economy regions, especially in terms of digital circular economy solutions.



The project aims to develop both clusters in a way that increases the added value for members, encouraging companies to commit more firmly to the cluster's activities.

  • To assist companies in finding national and international customers and partners.
  • To support companies in increasing their revenue, export revenue, and staff numbers.
  • To develop cooperation and co-development among cluster members, for example, through a digital platform.
  • To search for national and international partners for business development and publicly funded projects for the clusters.
  • To develop the clusters in order for both to obtain the EUCLES (European Clusters Excellence Labelling Structure) quality certification.
  • To support companies and educational institutions in developing the working life skills needed in the workplace in cooperation with regional, national, and/or international networks.

This project will implement three work packages (WP):

  • WP1: Administration and Communication
  • WP2: Circular Economy Cluster
  • WP3: Oulu Automotive Cluster

Costs and Financing:
Total costs: €586,278. Funded by the Council of Oulu region at 80% and BusinessOulu at 20%.

Start date: September 1, 2023
End date: August 31, 2025

Business Oulu

Further Information:

Tiina Haapaniemi, Project Manager, tiina.haapaniemi@businessoulu.com, +358 50 3023196

Aila Ryhänen, Cluster Manager, Circular Economy Cluster, aila.ryhanen@businessoulu.com, +358 40 514 4013

Kari Poikkimäki, Cluster Manager, Oulu Automotive Cluster, kari.poikkimaki@businessoulu.com, +358 40 660 2766

Viivi Anttila, Communication and Marketing Coordinator, viivi.anttila@businessoulu.com, +358 40 718 3951