Smart specialisation is the regions’ innovation policy, where the regions identify their strengths and areas for development. The strengths make the regions stand out and thrive, but in terms of preparedness, the tip must not be too narrow and the regions must also regenerate themselves.
The aim of smart specialisation is to create innovation ecosystems in the regions, which can help the business community to regenerate. Cooperation between research and education institutions and companies to generate and implement new innovations are key pillars of the strategy. It is also important to complement local expertise by working together with other regions. Partners can be found in their own country or province, but increasingly in international networks.
Smart specialisation priorities in Oulu Region
The strategy for smart specialisation in Oulu Region aims to promote, at the provincial level, measures leading to and utilising innovations that meet the challenges posed by climate change, digitalisation and globalization. The strategy aims to actively disseminate innovations and innovation activities throughout the province and to increase the regional economy and well-being. The strategy directs cooperation across industries and borders. Northern Ostrobothnia is an international, attractive and networked province, whose competitiveness is based on high know-how, renewable industry, well-being and climate wisdom.
Oulu Region is known for its strong expertise in the ICT sector and the company base in the sector. The strongest industries in the industry are the metal and metal products industry and the further processing of wood, including both biorefining and mechanical processing. New emerging industries include applications and equipment related to health and well-being, as well as various applications of printed electronics, for example. New innovations and industrial solutions are emerging at the interfaces of industries, where digitalisation is often crucial. The activities of the Digital Innovation Hub support the digitalisation of business life and the accumulation of digital skills.
The strategy of smart specialisation aims to have a reducing effect on the region’s greenhouse gas emissions through measures in accordance with the Oulu Region’s climate roadmap. The total climate emissions of the municipalities of Northern Ostrobothnia were 3.30 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018. The largest emissions came from agriculture (29%), road transport (22%), district heating (14%) and electricity consumption (heating and consumer electricity in total 11%). Since 2007, the per capita emissions of municipalities in Northern Ostrobothnia have decreased by 23%. (Source: Finnish Environment Institute). The figures do not include industrial process emissions. The largest emissions from industrial processes are at the Raahe steel plant, EUR 3.31 million. t CO2 in 2019 (Source: Energy Agency).
A high level of expertise, sustainable values and active innovation ecosystems, as well as efficient data transfer, strengthen the regional economy and reform the business community. Internationalisation and networking are ways to increase competence, competitiveness and promote the development of the priority areas selected in the smart specialisation strategy. The RDI environments in Oulu Region are maintained and developed to meet the needs of the business community, and actors are encouraged to participate in international projects and networks. The attractiveness of the region has a significant impact on the location of companies, investments, skilled labor and students in the area. From the point of view of the tourism industry, the attractiveness of the region is a key success factor, to which the northern dimension and the location at the Arctic add value. Creative industries support the development of the region’s attractiveness.
The smart specialisation strategy has been prepared as part of the project Developing the Internationalisation of Smart Specialisation in Oulu Region.
Oulu Region’s Smart Specialisation Strategy 2021-2024.
Development manager Ms. Päivi Keisanen
Tel. +358 50 431 0605
Project Manager Ms. Saija Tikkanen
Tel. 040 685 4044
Development director Ms. Tiina Rajala
Tel. 040 685 4033