For companies

Oulu offers for companies pioneership in technology along with an international operating environment at the heart of northern potential and purchasing power.

With its 250 000 inhabitants, Oulu in northern Finland is the fastest growing region in Arctic Europe and an international business and innovation city full of opportunities. The most significant northern hub of business, education, and culture is known particularly for innovations in the field of information technology. The strong and diverse hi-tech industrial base is supported by close to 20 000 experts in ICT, life science and cleantech business sectors.

Collaboration between companies, the public sector, and the universities is seamless, and the city is bursting with innovations and opportunities for creating new things. Oulu offers world-class education and training as well as technological expertise that will elevate the know-how of your company to a new level.

The investments in research and development in Oulu are the biggest in Finland – even by European standards, Oulu ranks high in the charts. What is more, Oulu is among the top cities in the world when venture capital investments per capita is concerned.

On top of digitalisation

For centuries, Oulu has made its mark in international trade by exporting tar, paper, and technology solutions.

A pioneering city for digitalisation, Oulu boasts 50 years of expertise in wireless technology. Every day, close to 3 billion people globally use mobile technologies developed in Oulu. A lot of the much talked about 5G technology has been created in Oulu, and the visionaries at the University of Oulu already have their eyes on the next wireless generation – 6G.

In recent years, the ecosystem of the technology industry of Oulu has changed into a hub of tens of global product development units. By combining expertise and wireless know-how to different sectors, like health and life science technologies and the industry, smart ICT solutions are introduced to deliver advanced, personalised, and connected services for all business sectors.

Oulu’s strengths and know-how are clearly visible in numerous products available on the international markets, such as in-car media systems and accessories, a variety of smart devices, printed colour changing surfaces, not to mention Oulu’s solutions for the financial sector, which are regularly used by millions of people all over the world. Also, the indoor positioning technology that was considered challenging and rare is accessible today by means of many innovations developed right in this city.

One of the things we in Oulu know exceptionally well, is product development – you can come to Oulu with an idea and leave with a finished product in hand. We have all the know-how you will ever need to productise, fund, test, and commercialise your innovation.

Pioneering health technology

The Oulu region is the second largest hub of health technology in Finland. There are numerous companies in the health and life science sector, with many high technology companies included, employing about 1800 professionals at the end of 2021. They offer world-class expertise and expand to international markets.

Health and life science companies, research institutions and the public sector operate as a network called OuluHealth. The committed stakeholders of this innovative ecosystem collaborate closely to create new business opportunities, boost the development of companies, and, of course, to offer better and better solutions for developing healthcare services and well-being around the world.

Oulu’s competitive advantage lies especially in seamless combination of health technology, life science, medicine, and different aspects of engineering. The OuluHealth ecosystem is at the forefront of digital health by converging health and life science solutions with ICT. As one result, the world’s smartest hospital is being built in Oulu and completed by the year 2030.

The future of automotive industry

The automotive industry is rapidly moving into the digital era. Cars are becoming similar to mobile phones in that they need easily updatable software, secure data transfer, and new innovations for user interfaces, materials, and services.

Oulu Automotive Cluster is an open ecosystem where companies and research institutes co-develop solutions for automotive electrification, autonomous traffic, and new business models for mobility. The cluster helps small and medium-sized companies find customers and partners in the automotive industry. It also shares information and coaches companies to operate in the value chains of international auto industry.

The Oulu Automotive Cluster is one of the most rapidly growing national business clusters. Its members currently include more than 100 companies and 30 research, education, and development organisations.

Oulu helps your business grow

Strong expertise in innovations and a dynamic operating environment in the most rapidly growing city of Arctic Europe draws both start-ups and big international companies to Oulu.

BusinessOulu is a public utility of the City of Oulu, offering free of charge specialist services for your disposal, from establishing a company or locating to the region to networking and internationalisation. BusinessOulu will inform you about issues such as business opportunities, public funding, available workforce, and potential partners.

BusinessOulu works actively to help the region’s companies as well as research and education organisations build their international networks. The existing export connections can be utilised to promote innovativeness and internationalisation of regional business. Oulu has a partnership with 16 cities across four continents. These relations are utilised also in the globalisation of companies. The export networks help businesses get in touch with international business opportunities and trade more swiftly.