Why Oulu

Oulu accommodates one of Europe’s most important communities for tech companies and stakeholders. The region has a strong heritage in engineering where wireless solutions and electronics have created a cornerstone for other more recent stacks of technology, such as machine learning and computer vision. The population of Oulu is extremely tech-savvy and as a location it can provide full-stack resources for a variety of needs in modern digital solutions.

ICT is one of the strongest Oulu industries. At the same time, it is a key enabler for many other industries. The region is home to several leading companies, including Nokia, MediaTek, Bittium, Electrobit, and so forth. Together with other major players and hundreds of SMEs operating in the field of ICT they form a strong cluster with high degree of expertise and entrepreneurial spirit, resulting in new start-ups and scale-ups.

Oulu’s key assets

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Full-Stack location of connectivity

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Wide assets in many technologies – dozens of companies reaching international markets

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Developing availability of talent – dynamic and large local talent pool with new graduates annually

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Market-ready products and solutions for numerous cutting-edge digital challenges

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Ecosystem that generates real innovation and business value

Integration capabilities of different domains

Oulu’s key assets

  • #1 in R&D investment in Finland, among the top in the EU
  • Forerunner in digital health, building the smartest hospital in the world (OYS2030)
  • 1st 6G research centre in the world
  • Hi-tech hotbed
  • Ca 1,000 ICT companies
  • 25,000 high-tech jobs, +5,500 R&D experts
  • >500 start-up companies during the last 3 years
  • Among the best innovation & technology cities

Talent makes a difference

In Oulu, there is a well-established network of organizations delivering high quality workforce for various special tasks and positions covering all the technological stacks listed in the topics on this site. Main universities are the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Both universities have a heavy emphasis on information technology, wireless data transmission technologies and various perspectives on utilizing data in various industry verticals.

Local universities are internationally well-known and attract a significant number of international students both in terms of exchange studies as well as degree studies. For example, in 2021’s first national joint application round, the University of Oulu collected almost 4,000 international student applications of which the study programme of Digitalization was the most popular. In recent years, the number of applications has climbed steeply with a quarter’s addition to the number of the previous year. The development has been similar in the University of Applied Sciences. The local universities also conduct systematic work to support the participation of under-presented minority groups.

Feel good in Oulu

The northern Finnish wilderness practically begins, if you will, at one’s doorstep, with lots of great options for outdoor activities – or simply lounging next to an idyllic lake on a long midsummer evening after a traditional Finnish sauna. There are nearly 900 kilometres of well-maintained cycleways in the city area, and youthful population keep things lively culturally. Oulu is a city in which you can get just about anywhere also by bicycle in just 20–30 minutes.

Finnish working life emphasizes work-life balance in many ways, appreciating the value of recovery outside of the working hours. In addition, Oulu provides high-quality services for a variety of needs with affordable cost of living.

Want to learn more about Oulu? Check out the Oulu homepage at oulu.com/en/business.