OuluHealth Christmas Calendar

December 1, 2023

The OuluHealth Ecosystem


The OuluHealth ecosystem is one of the five innovation ecosystems of the Oulu Innovation Alliance. Having had its start a decade ago, it aims to strengthen the collaboration between the City of Oulu, universities, researchers, health and social care providers, and the private sector. OuluHealth also aims to accelerate the implementation of health innovations, boost the healthtech business, and create better solutions to benefit citizens.


Over the course of 10 years, the OuluHealth ecosystem has been continuously supporting a research and innovation culture along with health and life science companies to create the leading health technology centre. Oulu is continuously growing as a healthtech hub, as the city accommodates one of Europe’s most important communities for tech companies and stakeholders, as explained by OuluHealth’s Key Account Director, Heidi Tikänmäki: “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 various needs in modern digital solutions”.


“Oulu is a tech city and Health and Life Science business core competencies are such as medical imaging, printed electronics, artificial intelligence, and 5G in Health research”, Heidi further explains. “For hospitals and home care, OuluHealth encompasses topics on the prevention of disease, identification of risks, and early diagnosis of diseases with the use of mHealth solutions, wirelessness, IoT, 5G technology, virtualization, sensors, data analysis, wearable technology, and data-based decision-making”.


Building a close network has been one of OuluHealth’s prominent actions and a key factor in its establishment as a strong healthtech hub. “I strongly believe our co-operation and multi-stakeholder set-up has been the key to our success. Together we get much further than anyone alone”, says Minna Komu, Network Director. Heidi adds to that: “We have the know-how and the entrepreneurial atmosphere here in Oulu where companies can easily get connections and grow their businesses”.


In 2023, many Health and Life Science companies from Oulu had great achievements, such as Monidor winning the tender for the remote monitoring of infusion therapy by the HUS Group, as shared here. Heidi also mentions Medanets’ expansion to the UK, NE Device SW’s solution being piloted and planned to be taken into use in Pakistan, and Finnadvance receiving the ISO 9001 certification.


When sharing highlights, Minna points out the recognition Oulu received recently: “Startup Blink’s assessment of the best cities for health technology development ranked Oulu in 30th place”, she shares. “We have also been successful in various projects funding, and to name one, we are now part of the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH), HealthHub Finland, which was highly competitive funding. We have also worked hard for OYSTER, the digital health RDI centre of the future and it is great to see some achievements. We have also continued international networking, which is the key to the future”.

December 2, 2023

OYS TestLab


Located in the Oulu University Hospital, the OYS TestLab is a specialized healthcare products and services test environment that offers testers and developers an authentic hospital environment with genuine users, with premises that can replicate diverse hospital units. Companies that run tests in the TestLab also get the chance to receive feedback from real healthcare professionals.


Under the OYS2030 programme, the Oulu University Hospital is being rebuilt and aims to become the world’s smartest hospital, and that causes the lab to adjust to the renewal of the hospital operations as well. In 2023, the lab is adapting to a new organisation structure, says Development Manager and Head of Testing and Innovations Timo Alalääkkölä. “The new wellbeing services county, Pohde, was started officially at the beginning of this year, and it has been a major transformation in how healthcare is provided in Finland. That is a big change for the operation of the University Hospital and how primary care is provided”.


Among the highlights of the work done in 2023, Alalääkkölä shares that the quality of Oulu Innovation Alliance activities has increased. “We have been taking a step forward in this collaboration with other Innovation Alliance organisations. There is a really good contact between health and research operators in the region”. He also highlights the addition of OuluHealth Labs labels to their cooperation with companies and other partners: “If they are doing a collaboration with us, testing or co-creating something, we can provide them with the OuluHealth Labs label, which is like a recognition of the good work completed with us”.


For 2024, the OYS TestLab has plans for testing and co-creation: “We will be focusing on need-bases development and need-based co-creation, so we want to provide solutions for the major current challenges in the healthcare system”, says Alalääkkölä. “We are also focusing on early-phase validation of new technologies and new solutions that will be taken into use. We want to know the added value of new solutions in real operations”.


Companies interested in submitting testing and co-creation enquiries can reach the team via the electronic contact form for all of the OuluHealth Labs.


You can also check an article about the OYS TestLab here.

December 3, 2023



Part of the OuluHealth Labs, the Mittlab is a medical imaging teaching and testing laboratory located at the premises of the Oulu University Hospital. Established in 2021 in a European Regional Fund Project in collaboration between the University of Oulu and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the Mittlab is one of the many environments in Oulu that serve as an innovation platform for education and product development purposes, and they are open to customers from Finland and abroad.


Comprising various physical and virtual components, the lab includes radiography, mammography, a cone-beam CT system, a conventional CT system, phantoms, radiation dose meters, 360°-virtual simulation environments of imaging suites, virtualized imaging device interfaces, and virtual 3D anatomy environments.


The Mittlab enables pervasive cooperation and provides valuable feedback for every phase of an R&D process. In 2023, for example, Njord Medtech, a company from Sweden, tested their patient transfer device, Atle®180, in the Mittlab. The solution is a motorised medical device used to facilitate horizontal patient transfers in healthcare, therefore easing caregivers’ work and increasing the quality of patient care. You can read more about the testing of this solution here.


Along with product development, the Mittlab is also an exceptional environment for healthcare professionals to be able to familiarize themselves with new healthcare solutions, as well as for students in the field of healthcare to increase their knowledge and practice their skills.


The OuluHealth Labs are available for testing for companies from Finland and abroad. Interested parties can submit proposals via the contact form or by contacting the labs directly.

December 4, 2023



OuluHealth Labs is a co-creation platform that enables cooperation between health and social care providers, research and innovation organizations, and companies. The OuluHealth Labs provide a specialized environment and end-users’ feedback for every phase of the development of health innovations. The goal of OuluHealth Labs is to promote the introduction of new products and services to the healthcare market and to use them to enhance social and healthcare processes to promote citizens’ wellbeing.


One of those labs is the Oamk SimLab, located at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Established in 2010, it has expanded extensively over the years. The facilities cover bioanalytics, nursing and emergency nursing, optometry, oral health care, radiography, midwifery, and radiation therapy, as well as rehabilitation learning, testing, and development environments with related equipment. The studios in the facilities can be combined and transformed into different spaces, ranging from individual patient situations to accident and disaster training. Within that scope, the training environment can become a patient’s home, a daycare centre, a hospital, or even a road accident scenario.


The Oamk SimLab is not only used for the testing and development of health solutions, but also for educational purposes. The lab works as a platform for students to expand their knowledge and practical skills. Companies testing their solutions in the environment can, therefore, gain valuable feedback from students and teachers, which helps the solution cater more properly to the current and future needs of healthcare.


One of the cases that stood out this year was the one conducted with Emedpatch LTD: “Students of different ages tested the prototype of their cough measurement device”, explains Eija Hautala, Senior Lecturer at Oulu University of Applied Sciences. She also mentions the collaboration between the companies and students, as in the case of Topcon Healthcare Solutions: “The company wanted to receive feedback from nursing and optometry students on the optical software they developed”. The case is further explored in this article.


Companies interested in submitting testing and co-creation enquiries can reach the team via the electronic contact form for all of the OuluHealth Labs.

December 5, 2023

OuluHealth Labs Labels


The OuluHealth Labs provide a unique environment in Oulu, allowing companies and social and healthcare professionals to develop new solutions in authentic conditions, with genuine users. Innovations can be tested through the entire service chain, from private homes to health centres and hospitals.


OuluHealth Labs has developed a systematic approach to evaluate digital and technological solutions and innovations. Based on this evaluation process, the OuluHealth Labs can give companies the OuluHealth Labs Label as an acknowledgment of the solution that has passed the process. Labels are divided into three different categories: tested, co-created, and approved. Each category caters to different criteria. You can read more about these criteria here.


The tested label is intended for the solution that is targeted at the social and healthcare sectors and is still being developed, or a solution that already exists, but is not directly targeted at the social and healthcare sectors. In the latter case, a company wants to test the feasibility of its solution in said sectors.


The co-created label is intended for the solution or idea whose maturity is to be developed or a solution or idea whose feasibility is intended to be developed in the social and healthcare context.


Finally, the approved label is intended for a solution that already exists and is targeted at the social and healthcare sectors.


The first awarded OuluHealth Labs label was granted to NE Device SW’s solution, Vitacam. NE Device SW developed and successfully tested their innovation in the OYS TestLab, posteriorly receiving the label, which can be a good asset to support the company’s marketing and communication activities. You can read more about NE Device SW’s experience here.


The OuluHealth Labs are available for testing for companies from Finland and abroad. Interested parties can submit proposals via the contact form or by contacting the labs directly.

December 6, 2023



The Oulu University Hospital is currently being rebuilt and renewed through the OYS2030 programme. With a long-term development programme, new facilities are being built and functions are being renewed in order to tackle the future challenges in specialized medical care. With the vision to become “the world’s smartest hospital”, the OYS2030 programme combines the newest technologies, modern facilities, and up-to-date expertise to ensure effective healthcare. Moreover, OYS2030 believes that a smart hospital is also fully accessible, and client- and patient-oriented, offering individual and humane treatment. Through close cooperation with partners, OYS aims to ensure the vitality of healthcare in Northern Finland and the advancement of healthcare through research.


The new hospital facilities will occupy a smaller area but will be more efficient in its use of space. User and activity-centred planning have played a key role in this: hospital staff have participated since the early stages in the design of their own future operations and the facilities, equipment, and systems they require.


This year, the OYS2030 programme achieved an important recognition: it won an award in the Ashikaga-Nikken Excellence Award for Green Hospitals category of the International Hospital Federation’s IHF Awards 2023. In this category, hospitals and healthcare organizations promoting sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives were nominated. More than 500 projects from 43 countries were included in the IHF Awards 2023, with the most distinguished ones being honoured in Lisbon on the 26th of October. You can read more about the award here.


Environmental sustainability and sustainable development are being taken into account during the OYS renewal programme, both during construction and in the planning of the hospital’s future operations. Among their measures to promote more sustainable operations, the hospital aims to, for example, improve energy efficiency when compared to the old hospital. New digital solutions will also contribute to the reduction of the hospital’s carbon footprint. In the future, remote medical services and other digital service channels will enable the hospital’s patients to not only have a pleasant but also ecological alternative to engage with the hospital, with the possibility to do so even in the comfort of their own homes.

December 7, 2023



Among the Oulu University Hospital facilities, there is a very important Centre for Clinical Skills – Knoppi, a joint learning centre of the Northern Ostrobothnia Wellbeing Services County and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu.


Knoppi organizes training for the personnel of the hospital district, as well as training for medical students, mainly from the third, fourth, and fifth years, according to Anne Riihijärvi, Special Designer. “The most common training procedures are cannulation training, injection training, wound suturing, hand disinfection, and sterile dressing for the OR”, she shares. “We also have many lessons and classes. Medical students are taught by clinical specialists who work in the hospital, such as anesthesiologists and surgeons. Students also have self-activated training, which means that they come to Knoppi and practice by themselves, usually cannulation and suturation. It is about 10 to 50 students per week, and if they need any help, I can help them”.


Knoppi is, according to Riihijärvi, a special place. “We offer not just facilities and supplies for practicing, but also our knowledge and professional competence. The staff at Knoppi is very easy to approach, and we do our best so that users would like to visit us and like to spend some time here”, she explains. Anne also highlights the facilities’ good location – right at the University Hospital, next to the Faculty of Medicine.


For the next year, there are already exciting plans in store: “We are just about to start training with VR glasses. The Faculty of Medicine has five pieces of VR sets, and medical students can practice surgical procedures and aseptic competence with them”.

December 8, 2023

BusinessOulu’s International Affairs


Many companies strive for internationalization, which can be a solid path to growth. This step, however, calls for careful preparation – knowing the target market, having the right networks, and securing financing are important aspects for a company to go beyond Finland. BusinessOulu’s International Affairs is a key piece for that.


Petri Karinen is the Head of International Affairs. His work involves all services that are provided to companies in the context of internationalization – this means bringing in different delegations from different countries to find cooperation partners, developing partnerships, and building international networks for companies in their target market areas, such as all the Nordic countries, and other countries in Europe and beyond. “To simplify, I basically matchmake, match people and companies together”, he explains.


Over the years, OuluHealth has been working in international cooperation with countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and the USA, for instance. But there are other opportunities coming up, as well: “We are currently trying to build up a health delegation to Tromsø, Norway. At the beginning of the next year, there is a big event in Tromsø, and now we are trying to find how many Oulu companies from the health sector would like to go and seek the Norwegian market”, Karinen shares. Fairs and events are an important piece of the backbone of International Affairs’ work: “They help open the doors for companies. We take different companies from the Oulu region, and then we have a local partner, and we matchmake them. Either we can travel to Spain, Germany, France, or somewhere else, or the companies can come here”.


When it comes to international health companies bringing their delegations to Oulu, Karinen points out that the OuluHealth Labs serve as an attractor: “The OYS TestLab, for example, brings a lot of delegations from different countries to visit Oulu”. This aligns with what a lot of international companies look for when contacting BusinessOulu: “Because our reach is very heavily concentrated on R&D results and development work, a lot of companies look for partners for research and development for their own products. They may need some kind of capabilities or know-how, and they are trying to find those by using us as a bridge because we know our companies very well”. 


Karinen also explains how the work is done to connect international and local Oulu companies: “We collect a list of companies that would be suitable to start a discussion with and make the connection. And nowadays, it is much easier. Before, we always had to travel, but now we can just use Teams or Zoom. But after that initial discussion, something needs to happen. We need to push the companies to go further”.

December 9, 2023

Studying in Oulu


Niyati Kandikanti completed a dual master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu. Her studies were conducted partly in the Kontinkangas campus, in Oulu, and partly in Germany. Originally from India, Niyati chose Oulu as a city to live in due to the fact that the University of Oulu is one of the few universities in Finland providing higher education in the Life Sciences field. “I ultimately chose the University of Oulu to experience the well-reputed education system in Finland and the adventure of living in a Nordic city”, she says.


“At the University of Oulu, I was able to work in multidisciplinary research projects involving international research teams from various scientific backgrounds”, she shares. She could also choose the courses or internships of her interest to complete her degree. “For me personally, I am happy about the practical lab skills I have obtained, something that textbooks or literature cannot always substitute for”.


While living in Oulu, Niyati found herself engaged in student council activities, community activities, hobbies, and new friendships. “Studying in Oulu was a wonderful opportunity for me to fulfill my career goals while also experiencing personal growth”. She would recommend the experience of studying in Oulu to others, as well: “If you’re someone looking to study in a respected Finnish university, love the Nordic nature, are keen on snow sports, want to enjoy your student life, have specific career goals and perhaps have a limitation on budget, I would recommend Oulu”. She points out what makes the city an attractive student destination: “its great programmes, modern campus facilities, active student culture, helpful mentors all around, and its jaw-dropping, beautiful seasons!”

December 10, 2023

OuluHealth’s Newsletter


The Health & Life Science Newsletter is a great way to stay up to date with all the latest information about OuluHealth and its stakeholders. Released every other month, it features diverse pieces of information about healthtech companies in the Oulu region, as well as highlights of upcoming events – in Oulu, other places in Finland, and abroad – that can be of interest to companies and individuals.  


The previous editions of the Health & Life Science Newsletter can be accessed via BusinessOulu’s archive. In order to receive the newest editions, subscribe to the newsletter here. We hope you enjoy the next edition – it will for sure feature a lot of interesting pieces!

December 11, 2023

Polar Bear Pitching


How much would you be willing to endure to make your business dream come true?


Polar Bear Pitching is the world’s coolest start-up event! Instead of a regular stage, entrepreneurs pitch in an ice hole in the frozen Baltic Sea. There is no time limit for the pitches – participants can speak for as long as they can stand submerged in waist-deep cold water. The event, a good example of perseverance, has been giving Finnish and foreign start-ups a platform to gain visibility and attract valuable funding opportunities.


After a hiatus, the event will be back in 2024, on the 29th of February. “Reviving Polar Bear Pitching after a four-year hiatus has been an exciting journey. With BusinessOulu taking the lead, the event is making a robust comeback, creating stronger ties within the Finnish startup ecosystem and beyond”, explains Viera Karam, Startup Program Manager at BusinessOulu. “The most exciting aspect is the mutually nurturing relationship we’re building – as Polar Bear Pitching gains momentum globally, it strengthens our international partnerships turning the unique Avanto Competition into a global phenomenon”.


Polar Bear Pitching is for sure an event that displays not only entrepreneurs’ resilience and commitment, but also Finland’s and Oulu’s uniqueness. And what better place to hold a startup competition than one where innovations can thrive? “Finland is a cradle of world-class technologies! With the 6G Flagship Program and industry titans like Oura, Polar, and Fingersoft, Oulu embodies the essence of Finnish innovation”, says Viera. “Leveraging over 50 years of experience in wireless communications, we are at the forefront of game-changing solutions in healthtech, cleantech and other industries. With our know-how and R&D environments, Oulu is not just a place to start a business, it is a launchpad to transform any innovative concept into a market-ready product”.


Whether you are already familiar with the event or not, you can certainly expect great opportunities to dive deep into the inspiring innovations from the North – and this time with fresh additions to the event. “With our mission to empower startups, you can still expect the Avanto Competition at Polar Bear Pitching. However, our morning conference will undergo a transformation spotlighting the tech expertise of Finland”, Viera shares. “IceTech Summit, led by ICTOulu, has a dedicated focus on cutting-edge topics like AI Large Language Models, Metaverse, and Printed Intelligence”. The new format aims to enhance the event, as Viera explains: “It will offer deeper insights into the ground-breaking technologies for our visitors”.


You get an extra day next year – so why not spend it in Finland?

December 12, 2023

OuluHealth’s Polar Bear Pitching Side Event: Northern Freeze


Polar Bear Pitching is surely a unique event. With its next edition being held on the 29th of February, 2024, the event dares entrepreneurs to be different and to push the boundaries of what they are willing to endure in the pursuit of their dreams.


OuluHealth is happy to be part of this amazing experience and to invite you to the Polar Bear Pitching Side Event – Northern Freeze!


“The event brings companies an opportunity to expand their network of contacts, learn more about the support our team offers to make them grow and internationalize, as well as listen to investors’ and health companies’ pitches”, explains Joanna Seppänen, Health and Life Science Coordinator.


With the slogan “It may be freezing cold, but it is a hot time for networking”, the event will give health technology innovators from Oulu the chance to present their solutions to investors and other participants, with a speaking slot of a maximum of five minutes. Those interested can register here and contact the team for more information about speaking opportunities. “We invite investors, innovative health companies, OuluHealth’s supporters, and health enthusiasts to spend an afternoon with us, to find out more about our activities and health innovations developed in our region, to establish new contacts, as well as to enjoy a wonderful winter scenery in Oulu getting ready for the Polar Bear Pitching event that kicks off the next day”, Joanna shares.


Just like Polar Bear Pitching, this side event is one you should not miss. “Organizing or coordinating events is closely related to building a special atmosphere that brings participants together and makes them feel comfortable enough to engage in discussions and express their own opinions”, Joanna says. “This is also the case of Northern Freeze”.

December 13, 2023

International House Oulu


Every year, Oulu receives more foreign residents, which calls for services targeted at newcomers and immigrants, as well as companies aiming to recruit international talent. The International House Oulu, located at BusinessAsema, gathers a variety of guidance services in the same spot. The IH can provide help with questions regarding studying, working, entrepreneurship, and everyday life matters. For companies, the IH assists with guidance and assistance in recruiting international employees.


Rikupekka Leinonen is the Coordinator of International House Oulu, and therefore responsible for its everyday operations: taking care of people working on their premises, establishing cooperation with different partners, and finding new ways to develop the services to cater to customers’ different necessities. “Our customers’ needs vary amongst services. Our general guidance is the place where customers can come and ask any questions they may have”, he explains. “We also provide online guidance for future Oulu residents, which means that if customers are still overseas, but they are moving to Oulu for study, work, or family reasons, we can help to make their relocation easier, and their integration into Oulu may be faster with our guidance”.


During 2023, the work done by International House Oulu had notable highlights: “After long planning, we finally opened our premises and our new service concept”, Leinonen says. He also shares that the events held by IH were popular and evoked satisfaction amongst attendees: “We were really happy to see so many people attending our two opening events at BusinessAsema. This year, we also organized many other events – the Networking and Board Games Evening was one of the most well-liked ones”, he shares. “We were able to bring together both international individuals and local Finns to interact with people from other cultures and extend their networks”.


For 2024, there are many plans for the International House. Among what could already be shared now, Leinonen highlights three points: “We will offer a lot of online trainings for local companies who want to hire international people”. Along with that, he also points out that the current services will continue and grow: “We will expand our network with other local services and seek more opportunities to collaborate in order to serve our customers better”. And to those who enjoyed the networking events, good news: “We will keep on developing our networking events, and we will have even more of those next year! Themes will vary, but the popular board game events with our cooperation partner Bloom Oulu will continue every month!”

December 14, 2023

BusinessOulu’s newsletters


BusinessOulu’s newsletters are a great means to stay updated with the latest, most relevant information about Oulu. Catering to different audiences, BusinessOulu has different newsletters that are released at separate times and contain more specific information directed to its public.


The BusinessOulu newsletter comes out every Wednesday, apart from Christmas and Summer Holidays. “I would say the main target group for the BusinessOulu weekly newsletter are entrepreneurs/employers or other people involved with or interested in business in our region”, says Marko Pyhähuhta, chief editor. “Of course, it is valid reading for anyone who is interested in hearing news about the development of business, employment, and vitality in our region”.


Additionally, the City of Oulu international newsletter, Best News from Oulu, comes out every two months. “Best News from Oulu is ultimately intended for a wider spectrum of recipients – to non-Finnish-speaking people outside of Oulu and abroad, or members of our international community here in Oulu who are interested in what’s going on in our city on an international level”, Marko explains. “The headlines do not cover only business or employment matters but also education, research, culture, technology, health, etc”.


And there is even more: “The more specific newsletters are the so-called ‘job seeker’s newsletter’, published by our employment services once a month; and a newsletter for our city’s decision-makers also once a month. We also have a circular economy newsletter for those interested in that field, but it does not come out that regularly. And then there are also the City of Oulu website and the BusinessOulu website, of course”.


In order to have a piece of news featured in one of BusinessOulu’s newsletters, the process is simple, as Marko shares: “The best advice is to send a press release or a short introduction to the piece of news with a web link to the related article by e-mail to media@businessoulu.com. And it is always good to remember illustration, i.e., attach a photo or a couple to the message! In our Finnish language newsletters, we naturally prioritise articles that are available in Finnish, and the articles for the Best News from Oulu should preferably be in English as we receive them”.


You can subscribe to the newsletters here. You can also access the newsletter archive to check out the previous editions.

December 15, 2023



ICTOulu is a network that brings together Oulu-based companies in the ICT sector, ranging from tech startups to large international companies operating in Oulu. ICTOulu aims to boost its members’ businesses, support the development of products and solutions, and foster their export to the international market. “Our primary objective is to propel the growth of local sector-specific companies by leveraging an array of technological advancements, spanning from microelectronics to LLM-enabled AI applications”, explains Jussi Leponiemi, Regional Manager of the network. “Our approach is adaptive, tailoring tools and strategies to suit each unique case. Essentially, we invest considerable effort in comprehensively understanding the business models within our extensive company stack. Our work extensively revolves around an international outlook, actively expanding and refining our global network to the advantage of all our network members. The constant evolution and enhancement of our overseas connections play a pivotal role in our efforts”.


“Oulu proudly stands as the tech capital of Finland, and its appeal as a dynamic hub for business and cutting-edge R&D is supported by several compelling factors”, Jussi explains. Firstly, he points out the abundant quantity of fresh graduates and tech experts: “With nearly 1000 fresh tech graduates emerging from local schools and universities annually, and Oulu’s existing community of over 25000 highly experienced tech experts, the city boasts a rich talent pool. These numbers hold considerable weight, even on a European scale”. This is added to a powerful research and development environment. “When it comes to R&D investments per capita among Finnish regions, Oulu ranks at the top, and remarkably, it secures the fifth position in a European context”. This is reinforced by Arjane Kerkhoven, who is currently part of the ICTOulu team as a Trainee: “we have cutting-edge IT research going on here, like at 6G Flagship and the RadioPark initiative”.


During 2023, ICTOulu had remarkable highlights, as shared by Jussi: “We’ve welcomed new network members, experiencing a substantial surge in our audience, notably on platforms such as LinkedIn”. Moreover, the network members experienced substantial growth during the first six months of the year: “The turnovers of our network member companies demonstrated impressive growth, despite the prevailing economic challenges. Notably, we observed remarkable market expansions, especially in the US, alongside other vibrant global markets. Additionally, our efforts led to the successful attraction of significant investments to Oulu, substantially benefiting our local ecosystem”. Another highlight was the launching of the DeepTech Leads Oulu podcast, as Arjane points out: “It got launched right after I joined ICTOulu, and so far, it’s been a great success. Oulu-based tech companies can talk about the cutting-edge technology they are working on and put their solutions in the spotlight. It’s an excellent way to share some of the excellent Oulu tech knowledge with the world”.


As 2024 approaches, ICTOulu has great plans, aiming to continue to engage systematically with the network members and provide them with support and resources. Jussi does share, however, that the next year will bring groundbreaking initiatives, and Oulu will host large-scale international events that will captivate diverse audiences. And it doesn’t stop there: “We’re dedicated to refining and expanding our service concepts, aiming to generate more tangible and actionable business opportunities for our network members. Alongside this, we’re committed to further boosting our international initiatives and amplifying our global presence”, Jussi shares. “Undoubtedly, we are eagerly anticipating the upcoming year—it promises to be exhilarating and full of substantial developments!”

December 16, 2023

Health and Wellbeing While Living in Oulu


Moving to a new city or country can be an intimidating experience in which one may experience significant changes to their daily life. Having a system that supports health and wellbeing becomes an important part of the adaptation process and, later on, of daily overall wellbeing – and in Rana Toro’s perspective, Oulu fosters just that.


“Since moving to Oulu, I have noticed significant changes in my health and wellbeing”, says Rana, who is originally from Turkey and moved to Finland a few years ago to study at the University of Oulu. “Although the process of moving to a new country and city can be initially stressful, I have found effective ways to cope with it. The numerous opportunities and resources the city offers have had a positive impact on my overall health and wellbeing, making the transition smoother and enhancing my life in various ways”.


Rana, who regularly goes hiking or skiing during the winter months, highlights the city’s surroundings and the opportunities for engaging in physical activity: “Oulu’s abundant parks and hiking and skiing routes provide a refreshing connection to nature and support physical health”. Moreover, she also believes that the city’s cultural scene acts as an important factor for maintaining mental wellbeing: “The city’s vibrant cultural scene, with its regular events, always kept me engaged and offered opportunities to make new friends and pursue my interests. I also actively seek out language courses to improve my Finnish skills. Additionally, I stay engaged with the city’s vibrant social scene by attending events and spending quality time with people, which not only broadens my social circle but also enhances my overall sense of happiness and wellbeing”.


The opportunities for fostering health and wellbeing in Oulu played a significant role in Rana’s adaptation to a new city and country. The possibility to engage in sports and social activities, combined with her perception of the city’s services, were key aspects in her physical, mental, and emotional health: “The city’s strong focus on healthcare, safety, and a tight-knit community support system all combined to create an environment that makes me feel like my overall wellbeing was genuinely improved by living in Oulu.”

December 17, 2023

OuluHealth Communication Channels


Are you aware of the many ways in which you can receive the latest information from OuluHealth?


The OuluHealth Newsletter is a great way to keep up with all the latest information about healthtech companies in the Oulu region. The newsletter comes out every two months, and the archive can be accessed here. You can read more about the newsletter in a previous post.


A good way to stay tuned with OuluHealth’s content is through our LinkedIn page, as well as our X account. There, you can find more information about upcoming events, as well as posts spreading the latest news featured on our website.


On the OuluHealth website, you can easily access general information about the ecosystem and some of its stakeholders, as well as projects, information about contact persons, pieces of news, and information about events.

December 18, 2023

Yrityspalvelut Suomi


Yrityspalvelut Suomi is a new kind of platform that aims to connect companies that need services and companies that offer those services in the same place. The platform is free and is especially designed for B2B companies that are in search of an efficient way to find the services they need and, at the same time, market their own services to potential customers.


B2B companies in the Oulu area will be the first in Finland to use the Yrityspalvelut Suomi platform. Later on, the service will expand to other areas.


The service works as a free marketing channel and a search means for companies. Enabling direct communication between companies, the platform also features reviews of services, which increases trust and helps in informed decision-making. The service is also multilingual – it supports Finnish, Swedish, and English. This expands the companies’ abilities to reach a wider audience of customers and partners.


Registering on the platform is simple: the company representative must provide an email address, create a password and confirm the username. After this, the company’s information and services can be added in a guided manner. The company profile is published on the platform when the company information has been saved and the administrator of the Oulu region has approved it. You can read more about the process on the platform’s website (Finnish, Swedish, and English) and BusinessOulu’s website (in Finnish).


Yrityspalvelut Suomi supports the growth of B2B companies and makes finding and comparing services more efficient. The platform is designed to make everyday life easier and for companies to bring added value to both service providers and searchers. You can also read more about the service here.

December 19, 2023



Are you familiar with BusinessAsema?


As a cooperation with the City of Oulu, companies, research institutions, and universities, BusinessAsema works as a co-creation platform and a space for the development, testing, and demonstration of technological solutions, the smart building environment gathers the business and innovation services offered by BusinessOulu.


Occupying 2000m², BusinessAsema is a large space that features open workspaces, bookable meeting rooms, and a restaurant and cafeteria. The area is often used for events, for which you can consult the events calendar on the BusinessAsema website. The space offers valuable opportunities for networking and meeting with entrepreneurs, mentors, and the BusinessOulu staff, for example.


Moreover, BusinessAsema also offers a diverse range of services that concern entrepreneurship, expertise, and employment. The space also serves as a co-creation and trial platform for new solutions, including a FabLab for the creation of demo products, a Cave environment for VR and AR implementations, training and coaching services, and last but not least, spaces for work and events. In BusinessAsema, it is also possible to contact BusinessOulu advisors, who are prepared to help you with their services and to establish contacts with both Finnish and foreign investors.


You can read more about the wide range of services offered at BusinessAsema here.

December 20, 2023

OuluHealth’s 10th anniversary


Over the course of a decade, the OuluHealth ecosystem has been continuously supporting a research and innovation culture along with health and life science companies to create the leading health technology centre. The ecosystem strives to continue this journey and lead the world into the next generation of healthcare – a mission in which all stakeholders have embarked with us.


“These 10 years have been filled with great achievements but also consistent work of all the OuluHealth stakeholders and other supporters. OuluHealth is the people who provide their time and continuously make an effort to strengthen our ecosystem and make it expand.  Now it is time to reflect on the path we have been walking together, but first of all, to celebrate!”, says Joanna Seppänen, Communications Coordinator.


In 2024, there is a lot in store for OuluHealth, and that for sure includes the celebration of its 10 years! Taking place on the 11th of January, the event will give you the chance to hear about how the OuluHealth ecosystem started, the most important insights and achievements over the past decade, and future plans, as well as meet the ecosystem’s key supporters. You can read more about it and register here.


“Our Health and Life Science companies are looking for new connections and matchmaking partners and good energy vibes in our events”, explains Heidi Tikänmäki, Key Account Director. “There are some speaking slots for the companies, like highlights or success stories in OuluHealth’s 10th anniversary in January”.


OuluHealth’s network director, Minna Komu, also shares her excitement for the celebration: “It’s been a long time since we last met at an event with the entire ecosystem”, she points out. “The most important thing is that we meet and get to know each other again since there have been many changes in recent years. In short, we will look back, and above all, we focus on what the next 10 years can bring”. Joanna shares a similar feeling: “Like most people these days, OuluHealth stakeholders have also been very busy. We do meet regularly to discuss work-related matters, but we rarely get together just to enjoy each other’s company in more relaxing circumstances”, she explains. “OuluHealth’s 10th anniversary is the time to celebrate, appreciate our network, and express our gratitude to those standing strong with us and supporting us along the way”.


And while thinking of what the future holds, Heidi shares some of the ecosystem’s hopes for the upcoming years: “We hope to achieve lots of visibility for the Health and Life Science companies and the OuluHealth ecosystem!”

December 21, 2023

International companies & OuluHealth


Earlier in the month, we were able to discover more about International Affairs at BusinessOulu. But when it comes to OuluHealth specifically, what is in store?


“Well, OuluHealth is now also seeking the US market, and that’s what we have been doing in the past years”, says Petri Karinen, Head of International Affairs. “We are trying to find out what are the opportunities in the USA for our companies. And then, if we go east of Finland, we are also seeking Japan and China”.


Over the past years, however, the work has focused on other countries, as well. “There are some activities in the southern part of Germany, in Switzerland… There are the Medical Mountains – an industrial cluster for the health area in Germany. And in the past, we brought some companies from Oulu to different events that they were organizing”, Petri shares. “So, we were building links between our companies and their companies”. The work with other European countries is ongoing. Petri explains that at the current moment, BusinessOulu is trying to build up a health delegation to visit an event in Tromsø, Norway, at the beginning of the next year: “We are now trying to find out how many Oulu companies from the health sector would like to go and seek the Norwegian market”.


International fairs, as well as B2B delegation trips, are important tools to find partners in the market areas covered by BusinessOulu, as they help open doors for companies: “We take, for example, three, five, or six different companies from the Oulu region abroad, and then we have a partner who has their own network around the local companies, and then we match-make them. Either we travel to Spain, Germany, or France, or somewhere else, or they come here”. To know more about upcoming fairs and delegation trips, check the OuluHealth events webpage.


According to Heidi Tikänmäki, OuluHealth’s Key Account Director, foreign companies look for Oulu when searching for business opportunities, collaboration partners, and piloting possibilities in the OuluHealth Labs. “They also search for information related to accessing the Finnish market”, she complements. Petri adds to that, explaining that Oulu gains notoriety for its strong R&D work across different sectors, including healthtech. Companies reach out to BusinessOulu looking for some specific service to research and develop their products. “Then, we collect a list of the companies that, in our opinion, would be suitable for them to start the discussion with”. He also mentions that the OuluHealth Labs get their own spotlight: “The OYS TestLab, for example, brings a lot of delegations from different countries to visit Oulu”.

December 22, 2023

Oulu University Innovation Centre


Established in 2019, the Oulu University Innovation Centre is a joint service by the University of Oulu and the University of Applied Sciences. The Innovation Centre assists both the business and the academic communities, helping with the commercialization of research results, finding business potential, developing business ideas, and applying for research funding. Their work also involves supporting the collaboration between researchers and companies, therefore building a cooperation network between academia and business life.


In 2023, the Oulu University Innovation Centre accomplished some remarkable results. Namely, they achieved a record number of IP sales and licensing, with ten agreements. Additionally, three R2B projects received grants. Last but not least, they received strong funding from BusinessFinland, with over thirty projects starting at the University of Oulu during the year, according to the Director of Innovations and Business, Jouko Uusitalo.


One example of a company in the health sector that previously received assistance from the Innovation Centre is Onnikka Health, part of the OuluHealth network. Offering a digital solution for better weight management and lifestyle change, the company started from research conducted at the University of Oulu.


When it comes to plans for the upcoming year, Uusitalo shares that the Innovation Centre aims to continue its good work and do even more business for the University. You can read more about the Innovation Centre here.

December 23, 2023



Have you ever thought about having Europe’s leading and globally unique campus, with social and healthcare research, testing, training, innovation, and development activities right here in Oulu? The goal of the OYSTER entity is to provide a unique platform for research, development, innovation, and teaching activities in healthcare, which enables seamless multi-professional cooperation between companies and public actors. 


The OYSTER campus is a space for new innovations, with which companies can get their kickstart and/or grow their business, with all stakeholders and testing environments under one same roof. At the same time, the provision of health services for citizens and regions is improved via the development of digital solutions, which enables the accessibility of specialized health services. “Cooperation is the key, and I am positive working together will create unique opportunities. When we have the incubator, testing facilities and company premises right next to research and healthcare professionals will be a fruitful platform for demand-driven innovations as well as commercialize research-driven innovation”, says Minna Komu, OuluHealth Network Director.


Additionally, educational institutions will benefit from virtual training and teaching, enabling learning independently of time and location. In the future, hands-on clinical skills will be trained also through virtual and mixed-reality environments in addition to Knoppi, which currently serves as a hands-on training centre. “New opportunities will also be available for teaching”, Minna shares, “when, one day, nurses and medical students will be on the same campus, and they will also share hands-on clinical centres with companies and get exposed to companies’ innovations already during their studies”.


OYSTER looks to the future of health technology, and the development of services is accelerated using a unique framework and applying Finnish wireless technologies 5G, 6G, IoT, and AI – the results of top research. OYSTER aims to integrate virtual environments into research and development, accelerating the commercialization of national health technology innovations. The OYSTER International Reference Centre will cover all that is needed to take one innovation to the market – prototypes, regulations, and cybersecurity, for example.


During 2023, OYSTER took several steps towards its development, as Minna discloses: “This year has been huge for OYSTER. Little by little the dream starts to come true. The single biggest thing is the funding received for the OYSTER incubator, so in 2024, we will be able to launch the first OYSTER operation! Super excited!”. The next year is indeed a promising one for OYSTER, and getting started with the OYSTER Incubator is only the beginning. “At the same time, we are working hard to get the overall big picture in place; how the digital health solutions arena and international reference centre will be”, Minna explains. “We focus on listening to companies and their needs so that we can make OYSTER truly meet their needs”.

December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas!


Thank you for following our Christmas Calendar – Santa Claus now brings you the last postcard from the North Pole and wishes you a wonderful Christmas time!


OuluHealth wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year ahead!


2024 will be full of exciting things – OuluHealth’s 10th-anniversary celebration, Polar Bear Pitching and the Northern Freeze side event are great examples of that!


We hope that the new year brings more opportunities for the ecosystem to continue the work it has been doing along with its stakeholders, and we aim to continue this journey and lead the world into the next generation of healthcare – and to bring you along in this (sleigh) ride.


OuluHealth (via Santa Claus, of course!)