Oulu Innovation Alliance

Finland: North and East Finland
Maria Vuorensola
specialist & coordinator of OIA
90% completed


Type of Network
Legal form of the cluster network
Date of establishment
Languages spoken
Support training services for cluster managers/policy makers
Resource efficiency support services
Resource efficiency expertise
Digitalization expertise
Social economy expertise
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies' workforce
Upskilling and reskilling expertise

About us

Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA) is the network of networks. Our four ecosystems – Agile CommercializationOuluHealthICT & Digitalization and Industry 2026– are the pinnacle of Oulu’s know-how. We offer these platforms – our ecosystems – for you to collaborate with. Since founded In 2009 OIA has operated actively to create a strong local innovation ecosystem, thus contributing to the favourable business environment, channeling funding for research, development and innovation-based business, creation of internationally competitive companies and new employment.  In 2017-2025 the OIA strategy is focused on enhancing utilisation of ICT and digitalisation in business and the public sector.

Oulu Innovation Alliance’s key partners are the City of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University Hospital, The Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Technopolis Plc., and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. Our doors are open to those who wish to come co-create Arctic opportunities in Oulu.

The main goals of Oulu Innovation Alliance are

  • to co-create Arctic opportunities together with you
  • international Oulu is Finland’s fastest growing city region and top notch location for new business

The four ecosystems have pinpointed their goals for the year 2025, all of which together will help fulfill OIA’s strategic vision.



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


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


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


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.

Oulu Innovation Alliance 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 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.

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!


Oulu innovation alliance: https://www.businessoulu.com/en/frontpage/en/company-networks-2/oulu-innovation-alliance.html

City of Oulu: www.oulu.com

Services offered

Services offered

Collaboration, research to business, testbeds and platforms, public space as a testing facility.

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Cross-sectoral industries
Mobility Technologies
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Alliances:Low carbon industries
Technology fields
C\: Chemistry; metallurgy:Treatment of water, waste water, sewage, or sludge - C\: Chemistry; metallurgy:Metallurgy of iron - C\: Chemistry; metallurgy:Coating metallic material; coating material with metallic material; chemical surface treatment; diffusion treatment of metallic material; coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering, by ion implantation or by chemical vapour deposition, in general; inhibiting corrosion of metallic material or incrustation in general - E\: Fixed constructions:Hydraulic engineering; foundations; soil-shifting - G\: Physics:Information and communication technology [ICT] specially adapted for specific application fields
S3 EU priority areas
Aeronautics & space:Bio fuels & energy efficiency - Aeronautics & space:Remotely piloted aircrafts - Blue growth:Blue renewable energy - Digital transformation:Advanced or High performance computing - Digital transformation:Artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, simulation, gamification & interaction technologies - Digital transformation:Big data, data mining, database management - Digital transformation:Broadband, spectrum and other communication networks (e.g. 5G) - Digital transformation:e-Health (e.g. healthy ageing)

Upcoming events

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