Who we are

BusinessOulu dictionary

100 Acts from Oulu highlights good examples of how anyone can contribute to the development of their residential community. The program is based on an idea originally presented by Erkki Karvonen, Professor of Information and Communication Studies at the University of Oulu. The Acts are awarded by Oulun yhteismarkkinointi.

3D Three-dimensional presentation and interactivity that offers an infinite number of applications: entertainment becomes more vivid, teaching more interesting, rescue training more real, architecture design more realistic and virtual meetings livelier.

3D Internet means interlinked virtual worlds. 3D Internet makes use of 3D graphics. End users normally use the services via their avatars, for example on the RealXtend platform developed in Oulu.

4D The fourth dimension, for example time, i.e. the movement of a 3D picture.

4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is an extension of the 3G mobile phone network.

5G systems are the next generation of mobile and wireless technologies needed for implementing the online society of the future. Oulu is taking part in the METIS project (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society) that aims to develop the 5G system. It is a major investment program of the European Commission and has nearly 30 partners. The capacity demand for mobile communications and wireless communication traffic will be almost a thousand fold in ten years. Even though information traffic between both humans and machines will increase significantly, it still has to be efficient, easy and safe. Some of the top researchers in the field from the ICT Department at the University of Oulu are working together in order to face this challenge.

5GTN - 5G Test Networks The 5G Test Network (5GTN) opened on May 21, 2015, is a research project, in which VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and the University of Oulu, together with industrial partners, are building a 5G test network in Oulu. In the test network, critical new technologies can be developed and the performance of the novel technologies can be tested in a realistic environment. 5G will be the next big step in wireless communications – it will offer multimedia and cloud services of very high quality and flexible usage of base stations, user equipment and other network devices, along with reduced material and energy consumption.

Air sector consists of cleantech companies whose technologies are used for air purification and for reducing carbon monoxide emissions.

Arctic Airlink is a new Oulu–Luleå–Tromsø flight connection that opened in January 2015.

Arctic Gateway is an international marketing program that aims to increase the number of international tourists visiting Northern Ostrobothnia by air. In particular, the goal is to increase the tourist flow from Norway, Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the Baltic countries and Ukraine.

Avatar introduces a social element to 3D Internet. An avatar is used for communicating with and recognizing other users. An avatar may look like its user or a fantasy figure, but it has individual user rights to the information and virtual worlds in the system.

Biocenter Oulu is a multidisciplinary umbrella organisation within the Biosciences and Health priority area of the University of Oulu.

Biorefinery is production facility that utilises biomass to produce biofuels, bioenergy and various bio-based products, such as products that are beneficial to the health or new raw materials for plastic. A biorefinery can either be a stand-alone plant or a production unit integrated with a pulp or paper plant, for example. It can produce bio-based products directly from raw materials or further refine bio-based substances produced elsewhere. A biorefinery can either be a multi-product plant or it can focus its operations on one product group.

Bioreactor is a facility that creates conditions for refining that are better than those present in nature.

Biotechnology is an industry sector that utilises biological processes, organisms or systems in production. Biotechnology is divided into the following subcategories:

  • Red biotechnology includes the development and production methods of various medical products (such as medicines, vaccines and diagnostics) with the help of bacteria or yeast, for example. In addition to this, it includes the development of new treatments based on stem cells or viruses, among others.
  • White/gray biotechnology includes industrial biotechnology such as enzymes, production of new chemicals or new fuels.
  • Green biotechnology refers to the use of biotechnology in agriculture, plant biotechnology or environmental applications.
  • Blue biotechnology refers to sea or water environments, for example to control organisms breeding in water or producing biomass.

Bioleach Metals are leached from the ore in a cost-efficient way with the help of bacteria growing naturally on sulfide ores.

Bio by-product is the raw material acquired as a by-product during the production process.

Business Angel is a capital investor that invests venture capital in the target company, usually in exchange for a share in the company. Financing is for a fixed term and it is usually offered to companies that have potential for rapid and extensive growth. After receiving the best possible profit, the business angel makes their exit; he or she will draw back the investment and sell his/her share, and the company continues to operate with the help of some other form of funding.

Business Development Accelerator coaches newly established companies for rapid international growth. The Oulu Business Development Accelerator has operated since 2013. The aim of the six-month intensive coaching is to accelerate the growth of startup companies in the Oulu region and to enhance their capabilities to secure financing.

Business Kitchen is an Oulu-based growth company centre that, with the support of its wide range of services, helps companies refine their business ideas and develop their business operations. In addition to this, it also helps them to utilise the competence of students. Business Kitchen is an open communal space that is used as a meeting place of all those interested in entrepreneurship. Its goal is to support entrepreneurs, those wishing to become entrepreneurs and students by offering support, information and university expertise through an entrepreneurial network.

BusinessOulu is in charge of implementing Oulu's industry policies, and providing growth companies with the services they require, in addition to promoting export, import, investments, and employment. With the help of its international partner network, BusinessOulu acts as a partner to companies and helps them grow, particularly in the north, where it leads and participates in the operations of Finnish Business Hubs. BusinessOulu makes a determined effort to develop tourism and provides assistance in running successful meetings, conferences and events.
Oulu’s innovation environment, ecosystems and think tanks create innovations in a bold and productive manner. The aim is to rapidly develop business opportunities and significantly increase startup investments. BusinessOulu’s OuluHealth ecosystem is in charge of the Future Health theme under the nationwide Innovative Cities 2014–2020 program.

BusinessPlaza is the portal for businesses’ ownership changes, maintained by BusinessOulu. The databank of the site offers information on both business acquisitions and generational changes as well as their different phases. The portal also has a marketplace where you can add a business that is for sale or a note expressing your intention to buy one.

Capital of Northern Scandinavia, is the capital of a region of intense growth in Northern Europe.

CEE (Center for Environment and Energy) brings together the cleantech expertise in Oulu and, with the help of partner networks, also nationally and internationally. The multidisciplinary cooperation between companies and research institutions produces new expertise and business for the markets all around the world. The main target of CEE is to develop, support and commercialise sustainable development and the use of natural resources. It also aims to prevent climate change and promote adaptation to it. The functional themes targeting these goals are efficient use of energy, air, water and material, and the cross-sectional theme combining all of the above is measuring technology. The operations follow the principle of a program-based network model. CEE creates common projects for research institutes and companies, which are combined into a joint research, development and innovation program. The operations are steered by a shared strategic research agenda. The parties take part in the work based on their own targets and core operations (see OIA).

CHT (Centre for Health and Technology) is the innovation alliance of the University of Oulu and five other organisations that develops services promoting the health and wellbeing of individuals and improves the processes of the health care sector. Priority areas include personalised health, genes and lifestyles, and wireless technology utilised in health monitoring and the treatment of illnesses.

CIE (Center for Internet Excellence) is a research unit of the University of Oulu that focuses on the developing 3D Internet technology.

Cleantech or the environmental technology sector creates solutions that help minimise adverse environmental impacts and improve the state of the environment. These solutions may include technologies, products or services. Their goal is to mitigate environmental impacts, increase energy efficiency and improve sparing use of raw materials.

Connected Health combines the fields of life sciences and IT in the health and wellbeing sector. Connected Health utilizes mobile and other electronic services as well as other new technologies in order to prevent illnesses and for promoting health, wellbeing and monitoring the consequences of illnesses. Its purpose is to modernize complete service chains so that they can better utilize the opportunities offered by technology. Oulu Connected Health includes a growing group of companies from various fields, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu, the Department of Social and Health Care of Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University Hospital, and several other hospitals.

Connected Health Alliance combines the fields of life sciences and IT in the health and wellbeing sector. Connected Health utilises mobile and other electronic services as well as other new technologies in order to prevent illnesses and for promoting health, wellbeing and monitoring the consequences of illnesses. Its purpose is to modernise complete service chains so that they can better utilise the opportunities offered by technology. Oulu Connected Health includes a growing group of companies from various fields, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu, the Department of Social and Health Care of Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University Hospital, and several other hospitals.

Creative industries are a cluster of companies and experts ranging from architectural services and the communications sector to sports and entertainment services. Oulu has over one thousand companies in the creative industries.

CWC (Centre for Wireless Communications) is a research center for wireless communications operating under the auspices of the University of Oulu.

Demo effect is a failed presentation of unfinished software.

Distributed energy production is an operating model of the future where electricity and heat are produced in small plants close to consumers. The consumers themselves can also participate in the production process and sell their excess electricity to the network.

ECHAlliance is an international alliance developing the ecosystem of health with more than 100 members from all over Europe. One of the network’s two HQs is located in Oulu, the other one being in Northern Ireland. The purpose of the alliance is to create a comprehensive developer and Living Lab network. An expanding group of companies from various fields work within the network, especially from the life science and IT sectors. In addition to this, research institutions, hospitals and other service provider organisations belong to the network.

eHealth ecosystem brings together Oulu-based ICT and life science companies and researchers. The purpose is to create new innovations by combining competencies from the bio and medical sciences, technology and the ICT sector.

Enterprise Finland is an online service for businesses and people interested in entrepreneurship coordinated by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The service aggregates the public services for enterprises into more customer-oriented packages.

Entrepreneurship education attempts to reinforce entrepreneurship through teaching and education. In entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship is comprehensively seen as the ability to work successfully as an entrepreneur, employee and citizen.

Exit is the stage at which the founder, owner or financier of a company sells his/her share in the company for the best available profit. The company continues its operations under a new ownership structure.

The Finland Houses are business centers established by BusinessOulu and the City of Oulu to build connections between Northern Finland and the target country. The aim is to promote new business operations, especially in industrial production, the ICT sector and construction. The Finland Houses are also tasked with disseminating information about the labor market of the target areas. Finland Houses have been established in Astana (Kazakhstan), Baden Würtemberg (Germany) and Tromsø (Norway).

Finnish Business Hubs are business centres established by BusinessOulu and the City of Oulu to build connections between Northern Finland and the target country. The aim is to promote new business operations, especially in industrial production, the ICT sector and construction. Finnish Business Hubs are also tasked with disseminating information about the labour market of the target areas. Finnish Business Hubs have been established in Astana (Kazakhstan), Baden Würtemberg (Germany) and Tromsø (Norway).

Food Safety Cluster – The purpose of this cooperation managed by MTT Agrifood Research Finland is to utilise current and future technologies for monitoring food safety. Food production companies may take the initiative and promote, on their part, Finnish food safety and stand out from their competitors.

Funds grant financing, such as the Northern Startup Fund, which is an asymmetric fund that grants financing for startup companies in Northern Ostrobothnia. The fund is managed by Butterfly Ventures Oy.

Gateway is a centre of traffic.

Green ICT creates business opportunities by integrating the principles of sustainable development with ICT expertise.

Hiukkavaara is a pilot region for a smart residential environment for 20,000 residents and 40,000 customers, which is currently under construction. The objective is to build Hiukkavaara into a showcase of Oulu-based competences, a testing environment for new businesses and a development environment for applied wireless radio technology, systems and business. The main sectors in the development work are Arctic Construction, ICT, RadioCity 2020 and Cleantech.

HiTech sectors include industries such as cleantech, ICT and life sciences.

Hoksnokka is a prize awarded by Oulun pressiklubi, which in 2014 was awarded to the ‘100 Acts from Oulu’ program by Oulun yhteismarkkinointi and BusinessOulu.

ICT (Information and communications technology). The ICT sector in Oulu is spearheaded by product and device development for mobile phone networks, wireless communications and radio technology, as well as by the development of wireless products (Internet of Things) and services for all industry sectors. The region is also heavily focused on LifeScience and Connected Health solutions, the 3D Internet, printed intelligence, data security, and on taking ICT technology over to other industry sectors and production technologies. The research results of regional innovation centers are rapidly put to use in the commercialisation processes of local businesses. In the future, the ICT sector will merge freely with other growing sectors such as life sciences, cleantech, the mining industry, nuclear power, logistics, and trade solutions.

Incubator is a coaching process where the entrepreneur receives personal guidance for setting up a business and for acquiring funding and in matters related to the planning and development of a business.

Infrastructure is the basis of society consisting of the services and structures that make the operation of society possible.

Innovative Cities (INKA) is a program running in Finland from 2014 to 2020. The starting point for the Innovative Cities project is the internationally high level of competence of the regional innovation centers. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy chose Oulu as the region leading the work in the ‘Future Health’ priority area under the Innovative Cities (INKA) program which commenced at the beginning of 2014. As a national vision for the theme, Oulu proposed the following: Finland is the pioneer of health innovations. The participants of the national workshops held in Oulu included representatives from Jyväskylä, Kouvola, Kuopio, Lappeenranta/EKSOTE, Tampere, Turku, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and Oulu. Together with Jyväskylä, Oulu has also filed an application for Innovative Cities partnership as a Cybersecurity competence cluster, and for Smart City partnership together with Tampere; see also OSKE

Innovation is an invention or other new idea that has been introduced as a commercial product or method, for example.
Innovation environment is a multifaceted and extensive ecosystem that offers a strong basis for companies’ growth and development.
Intranet is a restricted-access network service that is often only intended for the internal communications of a company or other large organization.

Invest In is a service for investors looking for relocation or investment opportunities. The service surveys the potential customerships and partners, the availability of competent staff, the relocation services of the staff, the necessary premises and site solutions, financing plans and other needs as determined by the customer.

Kontinkangas is an area shared by Oulu University Hospital, the Oulu City Hospital, companies and other operators where the future OuluHealth innovation environment will be constructed to promote the healthcare of the future.

Life sciences comprises disciplines that study living organisms such as plants, animals or humans. Biology and the medical sciences are at the core of life sciences. Life sciences companies mainly operate as technology companies and service providers in the biotechnology, health and wellbeing sector. In Oulu, the life science business sector focuses on two main fields: the ecosystem of health and bioeconomy.

Living lab is an environment where technology enables the active participation of citizens in the construction of the new functions to be introduced.

LYNET is a union of public research institutions whose areas of expertise include natural resources and the environment. LYNET institutions include the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, the Finnish Geodetic Institute (FGI), MTT Agrifood Research Finland, the Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (FGFRI) and the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. Most of these operators are located under the same roof in the Oulu Ympäristötietotalo building or on the same campus.

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next 4G extension of the 3G mobile phone network.

Matchmaking is an excursion or meeting of a specific industry sector.

MAI (Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics) is an institute of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Oulu that develops international education and research operations through comprehensive international cooperation.

Major projects refer to the promising mining projects in northern Finland, the Fennovoima nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki and the wind power investments in the area.

Midnight Pitch Fest is a rock-spirited startup festival with more than 2,000 visitors comprising representatives of startup companies, significant investors and keynote speakers, and innovators, students and media representatives. Startup companies are provided with an opportunity to gain visibility, pitch their ideas to a large group of investors and make use of the direct matchmaking service to arrange meetings with investors. Domestic and foreign investors, on the other hand, are provided with a comprehensive showcase of companies and business ideas.

NFC (Near Field Communication) remote identification sensors make it possible to make small payments without a PIN code by just touching the display terminal or sensor, among other things.

Nightless Night is the meeting of the Oulu Health ecosystem.

Northern Glow is a northern business and innovation event.

OCB (Oulu Convention Bureau) provides free-of-charge assistance in bringing an event to Oulu, in particular at the early planning stage in tasks such as surveying the available facilities and accommodation and in making use of the local networks.

OSKE is the Centre of Excellence Program 2007–2013 of the Finnish government.

OIA or Oulu Innovation Alliance is a strategic agreement concluded between the City of Oulu, the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the Technical Research Centre of Finland and Technopolis Oyj in 2009. The purpose of OIA is to carry on Oulu’s long tradition of cooperation between the education, research, business and public sectors. The target business sectors are Internet research (CIE), printed electronics (PrintoCent), international business (MAI), health and welfare technology (Center for Health and Technology, CHT), and the environment and energy (Centre for Environment and Energy, CEE). guides those interested in Oulu to the world of business, work and education, living, leisure and tourism. The site is maintained by Oulun yhteismarkkinointi.

Oulu DC (Oulu DataCenter) is creating a new, state-of-the-art data centre service in Finland. Oulu’s assets in the data centre business are the affordable price of energy and good availability of competent staff.

OuluHealth combines the competencies of Oulu-based ICT, biotechnology, health and wellbeing service companies, professionals and scientific communities. It is among the most significant initiatives in the development of health and wellbeing services, both on a national and global scale. In the future, the OuluHealth campus will be an internationally attractive center of excellence in the field of health and wellbeing. It will produce individual healthcare solutions by combining university-level research and technology, as well as new generation operating models for the social and health care sector.

Oulun yhteismarkkinointi is a joint marketing undertaking of the operators and companies in the Oulu urban region.

Pre-incubator enables a competent person to familiarise him/herself with entrepreneurship and allows them to become interested in it based on their own strengths and expertise. Discussions with mentors and working together create great conditions for thinking up new ideas.

Printed intelligence is printed electronics developed by the PrintoCent innovation centre coordinated by Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

Polar Bear Pitching is a pitching event arranged in Oulu where the elevator speeches are given in a winter-swimming hole in the ice. Oulu is renowned for its active startup ecosystem. The Polar Bear Pitching event is attended by a large number of companies, representatives of financiers as well as the general public and the media. Polar Bear Pitching is part of the Midnight Pitch Fest event.

PrintoCent is an innovation centre established by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), Oulu University of Applied Sciences and the predecessor organisation of BusinessOulu, and coordinated by VTT. It develops printed electronics and printed intelligence.

PPP (Public-Private Partnership) is a creative process streamlined by the cooperation between the public and private sectors.

R&D is shorthand for Research and Development.

RadioCity 2020 is a project of BusinessOulu with the aim of securing the viability of the Finnish ecosystem of radio communications.

RFID near field communication – NFC/RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) – is a method used for remote reading and recording of information with the help of radio frequency tags. RFID tag (escort memory) is a small device that can be implanted into a product during manufacturing or glued on later as a sticker.

RealXtend platform is a tool software developed in Oulu that helps create 3D experiences through virtual modelling of real or imaginary places.

Seed investment is obtained for the purpose of organising the initial stage of a company’s operations prior to the commencement of actual business operations.

Smart Energy is energy-saving and energy-efficient energy producing with lower costs and environmental emissions.

Smart City Oulu was shortlisted as a TOP7 finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Intelligent Communities Forum competition rewarding the world’s smartest communities.

Start-up is a newly established company developing a product or service with a huge potential for growth.

Stiiknafuulia is an entrepreneur prize that is part of the new entrepreneur competition arranged by the City of Oulu. Companies are awarded prizes in three categories annually. In 2013, the first year of the competition, the Startup of the Year (Category 1) and the Stiiknafuulia entrepreneur prize (Category 3) were awarded. The Export Company of the Year (Category 2) was selected for the first time in February 2014. Proposals for the prize recipient can be submitted by private individuals, organisations and companies alike in January.

Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, offers funding for pioneering research, development and innovation projects. Its most important target group is SME companies looking for growth through internationalisation. The most significant of these are the young growth companies. Tekes allocates about one-third of its available funds to such companies.

TeollisuusSummit is a major industrial event in northern Finland held in Oulu.

The ecosystem of health comprises established companies in the pharmaceutical industry and diagnostics, companies that used to operate as entities separate from them, such as healthIT and telecommunication enterprises, and other companies from more recent fields (such as social media) as well as citizens, the third sector and other opinion leaders.

Venture capital investment is a fixed-term form of financing for companies with the potential for rapid and extensive growth. Venture capital investor (a business angel or a venture capital company) invests in the target company in exchange for a share of ownership in the company.

VisionPlus (Vision+) is a venture capital fund concentrating on digital consumer products. The fund invests in products and receives a share of the sales proceeds in return. It does not become a shareholder of the target company. The fund does not invest in research and development operations or seed-phase development of the company. Instead, it aims to help the entrepreneurs and developers to commercialise their products and to find suitable partners and customers.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the largest organisation in Northern Europe in applied research. It produces varied technology and research services for Finnish and international customers. It helps create new products, production processes, and methods and services.

Yritystakomo is a communal operating environment where all the operators utilise their competence and experience for developing new business and product ideas. The companies starting their operations in Takomo operate without any direct risk to the entrepreneur.

ÄRM (ASSC) is the Finnish abbreviation for an area of sudden structural change. The government gave Oulu ASSC status in summer 2012.