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Oulu innovation alliance

Ideas into business

NEW STRATEGY 2016-2020

Oulu Innovation Alliance has renewed its strategy in 2015. Ouluinnovationalliance.fi website will be updated with new information about the strategy for 2016-2020.

More info (in Finnish)

WHAT OIA?

Oulu Innovation Alliance is the embodiment of Oulu’s advanced and accessible ecosystem that covers every step of a company’s development process – from idea to manufacturing the product itself. Oulu is full of test environments with which to test innovations. Companies can then utilize them to their full potential.

Oulu Innovation Alliance is your gateway to the best networks in the area. The ecosystems of Oulu Innovation Alliance – ICT & Digitalization, Industry 2026, Agile Commercialization, OuluHealth, and Northern City with Attractive Opportunities –provide the best know-how in their fields. These ecosystems were selected as the focus points of Oulu’s expertise in co-creating the future.

OIA ecosystems 2016-2020

Industry 2026
Headed by University of Oulu – Harri Haapasalo C, Pekka Tervonen DC
Industry 2026 focuses Oulu area’s top research and know-how into industries’ actual needs to usher industry of the future, like circular economy, and bio & machine industries. Their Blue Bioeconomy Ecosystem aims to create sustainable and profitable food production concepts.

OuluHealth
Headed by Oulu University Hospital – Hannu Leskinen C, Noora Jansson DC
OuluHealth is the ecosystem to boost your business in health tech and healthcare. It is dedicated to combining the different specialized fields in health, natural sciences, IT, academic and business know-how to create patient-friendly technologies, prosperity and wellness in the Oulu region.

Northern City with Attractive Opportunities
Headed by City of Oulu – Matti Matinheikki C, Juha Isoherranen, DC
Northern City with Attractive Opportunities is dedicated to facilitating growth with innovative infrastructure, pilot environments for companies and enabling wellbeing in Oulu through events and top-notch services.

Agile commercialization
Headed by Oulu University of Applied Sciences – Jouko Isokangas C, Sami Niemelä, DC
Agile Commercialization helps you in commercializing your business idea. Arctic Business Corridor, where multidisciplinary student teams help companies enter new market areas; Avanto Accelerator, Demola, you name it - they’re all there for you every step of the way into successful business.

ICT and Digitalization
Headed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland – Arto Maaninen C, Heikki Ailisto DC
ICT & Digitalization’s goal is to make Oulu the FinTech hub of Northern Europe. Oulu has a growing FinTech industry, with two major banks, OP and Nordea, having established their development centers in Oulu. The ecosystem’s goal is to generate 100 new jobs in the industry by 2018.

OIA Partners

Who we are

OIA

Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA) is unique collaboration, which integrates top know-how from printed intelligence, wellbeing technology, cleantech and 3D internet and brings together research institutions, businesses and public sector organizations. OIA generates cutting-edge global business from research, development and innovation projects and ventures.

OIA is situated in the Capital of Northern Scandinavia, Oulu, Finland, but it cooperates with organizations regardless of their location. The Alliance is always looking for new ideas and cooperation projects. Read more from services.

8 Partners and 5 Centers

City of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Technopolis Plc and Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) created a strategic partnership called Oulu Innovation Alliance in 2009. A new agreement was struck in 2016 between the City of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Technopolis Plc, Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education, Oulu University Hospital, and Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Oulu Innovation Alliance’s new strategy shifs focus from research funding towards a business approach with the objective of facilitating SME growth and new business opportunities. International Oulu is the fastest growing urban region in Finland and a first-rate location to expand your business transactions and start new ones.
Oulu Innovative Alliance objectives for 2016 to 2020 are the following:

  • Oulu attractiveness is enhanced by an innovative ecosystem boosting the establishment, development and internationalization of companies based in the state-of-art expertise.
  • Implementation of Arctic and Northern potential

To accomplish this, five ecosystems have been named:

Northern City with Attractive Opportunities
Agile Commercialization
ICT and Digitalization
Industry 2026
OuluHealth

Previously all operative work in OIA took place in five centers that focused on different fields of expertise.
The Alliance generates global business by cooperating research, development and innovation projects. Businesses and public organizations meet in joint projects and ventures that combine different industries and scientific fields. These involve forerunning professionals as well as ordinary people via the living lab concept.

Executive Group

Päivi Laajala, City of Oulu, Mayor
Jouko Niinimäki, University of Oulu, Rector
Marko Lind, Technopolis Plc, Director of Oulu operations
Hannu Leskinen, Oulu University Hospital, Director
Arto Maaninen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, VP Operations
Jouko Paaso, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Rector
Jarmo Paloniemi, Osekk, Managing Director and Principal
Mari Walls, Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland, President and CEO

In addition, expert representatives and ecosystem leaders are part of the executive group.

Ecosystems

Oulu Innovation Alliance is a coalition with the purpose of making Oulu the world’s best in five focus points. International Oulu is the fastest growing urban region in the Nordics and the place to be for business growth and new opportunities. Oulu Innovation Alliance’s goals for the years 2016-2020 are:

  • An innovation ecosystem that boosts Oulu’s attractiveness and enhance the formation, development and internationalization of top-talent enterprises.
  • Utilization of the arctic and northern opportunities

Oulu Innovation Alliance’s five focus points, i.e. ecosystems are:

Industry 2026 – University of Oulu

Industry 2026 focuses Oulu area’s top research and know-how into industries’ actual needs to usher industry of the future, like circular economy, and bio & machine industries. Their Blue Bioeconomy Ecosystem aims to create sustainable and profitable food production concepts.

OuluHealth – Oulu University Hospital

OuluHealth is the ecosystem to boost your business in health tech and healthcare. It is dedicated to combining the different specialized fields in health, natural sciences, IT, academic and business know-how to create patient-friendly technologies, prosperity and wellness in the Oulu region.

Northern City with Attractive Opportunities – City of Oulu

Northern City with Attractive Opportunities is dedicated to facilitating growth with innovative infrastructure, pilot environments for companies and enabling wellbeing in Oulu through events and top-notch services.

Agile commercialization – Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Agile Commercialization helps you in commercializing your business idea. Arctic Business Corridor, where multidisciplinary student teams help companies enter new market areas; Avanto Accelerator, Demola, you name it - they’re all there for you every step of the way into successful business.

ICT and Digitalization – VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

ICT & Digitalization’s goal is to make Oulu the FinTech hub of Northern Europe. Oulu has a growing FinTech industry, with two major banks, OP and Nordea, having established their development centers in Oulu. The ecosystem’s goal is to generate 100 new jobs in the industry by 2018.

Partners

City of Oulu

City of Oulu has earned the brand Capital of Northern Scandinavia by growth and being an innovative and competitive business and research environment since decades. The Oulu Region has over 200,000 inhabitants and it is the fastest growing region in Finland. It is also one of the youngest cities in Europe – the average age of the population of Oulu is 36.6 years. In OIA, City of Oulu’s role is to implement business and innovation policy, including start-ups, growth, relocation, conferences, and operating environment development services.

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Natural Resources Institute Finland promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. Researchers and specialists working at Luke provide new solutions towards the sustainable development of the Finnish bioeconomy and the promotion of new bio-based businesses. Together with its partners Luke will build a society based on bioeconomy.

Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Oulu University of Applied Science, UAS, educates professionals for the needs of working life. The University has approximately 9,000 students and 800 staff. In OIA, Oulu University of Applied Sciences focuses on applying, transferring and developing professional expert knowledge.

Oulu University Hospital (OYS)

Oulu University Hospital is the northernmost of five university central hospitals in Finland. The hospital currently provides treatment for the people in the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District and northern Finland in general. It also offers medical services to Scandinavia and other parts of the world. Oulu University Hospital is also used for teaching purposes by the Faculty of Medicine, the professors acting as senior physicians in their specialized clinical fields.

Technopolis Plc

Technopolis Plc is a listed real estate company that specializes in leasing space and providing services. It combines business support services with modern, flexible, multi-user business environments. There are approximately 26,000 people and almost 1,400 companies and organizations in Technopolis premises in Finland, Russia, Estonia and Lithuania. In OIA Technopolis Plc operates environments and services for companies and organizations.

The Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education (Osekk)

The Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education (Osekk), responds to the competence needs of students and work life in Northern Finland. Osekk provides education services rooted in practical work life, anticipating the challenges of the future. The core principle of education activities is to serve the region's business community by providing a competent and trained labour force. Osekk continuously anticipates changes taking place in the business world, and its course selection is designed according to the region's needs.

University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is an international science university. Founded in 1958, the University’s research and education community is 16,000 students and 3,000 employees strong, and one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. In OIA, University of Oulu promotes free international level research and education, development and maintenance of research infrastructures, and develops utilization paths of research results.

VTT

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest multitechnological applied research organization in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. In OIA VTT produces new ideas, technology and innovations, develops new applications and knowledge for business, and infrastructure that support research and business activities.

Materials

OIA presentation [ In English ] [ In Finnish ]

OIA Logos

JPG, PNG, TIF

Services

OIA offers versatile services for investors, students companies, and researchers. Whether you have an innovation idea you want to develop, you need help with your startup or you are looking for investors, we may be able to help you. Whether your idea relates to industry, health, business, ICT, or city development - please contact us. We’d be happy to help!

Research

OIA creates connections between business expertise and top research and organizes R&D&I (Research & Development & Innovation) projects. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a research idea or you already have a project you would like to implement! Through us you will have fast access to the right research partners for your company.

When we do R&D&I projects, we help companies to apply financing using national and international financial instruments as well as contacting investors. Even though OIA is located in Oulu we also cooperate with research organizations globally – what matters most is the best possible knowhow.

Key services:

  • Doing research projects together
  • Finding research partners
  • Help in getting financing

Development

OIA organizes R&D&I (Research & Development & Innovation) projects and through us you will have fast access to the right development partners for your company. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have an idea or you already have a project you would like to implement!

When we do R&D&I projects, we help companies to apply financing using national and international financial instruments as well as contacting investors.

In the Living Lab concept companies and organizations can test products and services in an authentic environment with real users. In Oulu there are 500 people ready to test anything from service concepts to applications. Product testing in a real healthcare environment is also possible.

Key services:

  • Doing development projects together
  • Finding development partners
  • Help in getting financing
  • Living labs
  • Pilot Factory for Printed Intelligence

Innovation activities

OIA can help you to find the right business contacts in Oulu. When we do R&D&I projects, we also help companies to apply financing using national and international financial instruments as well as contacting investors.
Business Kitchen is the universities’ entrepreneurship hub: both a space and a community located in the city center of Oulu. www.businesskitchen.fi.
Key services

  • Finding business partners
  • Help in getting financing
  • Start-up services

Education

We are always interested in cooperation with students. Send us your ideas or a project plan and we will be in touch! We are interested in thesis cooperation in the following fields:

  • Cleantech, environment, and energy
  • Health technology and health services
  • Business, leadership, commercialization and economics
  • ICT & Digitalization, FinTech
  • City planning, development, tourism attraction factors

Events

Oulu plays host to tens of international congresses and countless organizational meetings and events. You can find Oulu’s, including OIA’s, events from congress calendar.

Contacts

RESEARCH INTO BUSINESS

Contact Us
If you have an idea or a venture you’d like to discuss, please contact us!

Oulu Innovation Alliance
C/O BusinessOulu
P.O. Box 54, FI-90015 Oulun kaupunki, Finland

OIA Communications
Jaakko Ahlstén
Communications Coordinator
Tel. +358 40 701 4231
firstname.surname@businessoulu.com

Ecosystem directors

ICT & Digitalization
Heikki Ailisto
Research professor, VTT
Tel. +358 40 555 0726
firstname.lastname@vtt.fi

Industry 2026
Pekka Tervonen
Director, CEE
Tel. +358 40 673 9519
firstname.lastname@oulu.fi

Agile Commercialization
Sami Niemelä
Principal lecturer, Oamk
firstname.m.lastname@oamk.fi
Tel. +358 50 317 4713

OuluHealth
Noora Jansson
Director, OuluHealth
firstname.lastname@businessoulu.com
Tel. +358 40 753 2917

Northern City with Attractive Opportunities
Juha Isoherranen
Project Manager, Urban & Environmental Services
firstname.lastname@ouka.fi
Tel. +358 44 703 2429

Oulu Innovation Alliance from oulucom on Vimeo.

Jaakko Ahlstén

Jaakko Ahlstén

Communications Coordinator, OIA ecosystems

+358 40 701 4231

Contact