Ecosystems and spearheads
The joint goal of the ecosystem is to develop digital solutions for everyday needs of residents and local companies as well as replicable products for the international market. The City of Oulu and other Alliance partners support and boost the development by offering environments for piloting and urban development.
Digitalisation in the changing urban environment
MetaCity is a leap to a novel generation of smart city concept to accelerate the evolution of digital and virtual city services and governance to the next level of the post-pandemic era, after the transition to virtual cooperation. The cornerstones of MetaCity are in high technology but the strong focus of co-innovation is in the services.
Data has become an important part of life nowadays. The data analytics programme focuses on the data itself – how it can be processed, analysed, and shared regardless of what the data is about. The programme’s mission is to combine operatives in the Oulu area to work together in the rising theme of data economy and enable the creation of data ecosystems – Oulu Data Spaces. Education and research institutes along with businesses may combine their forces into new know-how and business possibilities.
The Oulu region is a significant competence centre in automated mobility in Europe. The programme combines research and business with the goal of scalable international business based on software and different technologies. The objects are from cars to work machines and from robotic vehicles to drones, as well as the various operating environments related to them. The programme gathers the physical development and testing platforms into a single service offering for both research and companies. The Oulu Automotive Cluster, as part of the programme, opens market channels for companies to the value chains of the vehicle industry, especially in Europe.
The goal by the year 2027 is to make Oulu an attractive, nationally and internationally networked environment for the innovation, testing, and development of virtual health care and wellbeing.
Digital solutions for health and well-being – OuluHealth
OuluHealth has been nationally and internationally recognised as a significant hub for digital health and a data-based research and innovation ecosystem.
The Data-enabled solutions in preventive and supportive health care spearhead programme promotes the conditions for the utilisation of health and well-being data in order to enhance the business and data operations of companies, research entities, and health service providers. The programme develops the ability of data sharing and data collaboration in the region for building smart digital health and data-based solutions that support healthcare and well-being proactively. Data collaboration models and jointly agreed operating methods clarify co-innovation. The data collaboration platforms offer the operating environments and the expertise for development and testing.
“Better services through virtual service production” is a spearhead program for co-developing and introducing a model of virtual service production in cooperation with service providers, researchers, companies, and educational organisations. The ecosystem’s operatives get support for developing smarter and more impactful virtual services.
The Wellbeing Services County of North Ostrobothnia (Pohde) is a pioneer in innovation and development work in the social and health sector. The task of Pohde’s development activities is to promote the renewal of social and health service production, to improve the services offered to residents and to develop the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of operations. Development work is based on strategy. We operate one-step ahead of others, but at the same time in close cooperation with various stakeholders both nationally and internationally. Social and health care innovations and testing, as part of the programme, instill into practice the co-creation model of innovation, development, and testing activities that ensures Pohde’s needs-oriented development.
Our goal is to build OYSTER, Europe’s leading RDI center focused on digital health, in the immediate vicinity of the hospital of the future. At OYSTER, the development of future health technology solutions and services is accelerated in a unique environment, utilising and applying the results of 5G – and later also 6G – research. The OYSTER centre will be built in stages. First, the health and life science incubator will be established and the OuluHealth Labs testing environment will be further developed, especially focusing on data and digital solutions.
The aim is to develop circular economy by basing production and consumption more and more on responsible raw materials, renewable energy, services, durable products, shared resources, and recycled materials instead of ownership.
Sustainable circular economy and cleantech solutions
Next-generation energy products and services spearhead programme aims to develop a scalable carbon-neutral energy ecosystem.
The goal of the New solutions for waste and side streams ‑spearhead programme is that new high-value and high-volume products from various waste and side streams are developed in the Oulu region, while aiming to achieve low-carbon goals. The programme supports the goal of companies developing circular economy solutions operating in the region to be an internationally recognized center for the circular economy and a leading partner in increasing the value of waste streams.
Environmentally friendly steel and related value chains spearhead programme
Steel industry is a significant international industry in the region of the Bothnian Arc, covering the whole value chain from large locomotive companies to smaller operators and top research in the field. Steel industry is also one of the largest individual carbon dioxide emission producers of the world, because of which the companies and researchers of the field have an important role in the green transition. With the help of the programme, an innovation ecosystem is enabled which rapidly combines top research of the field to the business of the companies. The goal is a world-class programme in renewing the value chain of carbon neutral steel.
Smart solutions to global water challenges through the cooperation of research and companies
The aim of the ecosystem is to support the other OIA ecosystems and growth based on their spearhead programs along with boosting talent attraction and matching capable talent with the needs of companies.
Support for startups, continuous learning and ecosystem building
The spearhead programme of startup entrepreneurship aims to build the most attractive and effective startup ecosystem in northern Europe in Oulu. The energetic core of the ecosystem consists of innovative people whose teams are supported by diverse services, programmes, and events. The main goal of the spearhead programme is to connect Oulu’s startup ecosystem to the global startup network and thereby strengthen the image of Oulu as a hub for innovation-driven business.
A central asset for the growth of companies is capable personnel whose availability is supported by education organised both on short and long term. New innovations are fuelled by fresh talent!
The aim is to support business-driven ecosystems and clusters by offering best practices for networking and innovations.