Faster digitalisation of the health and well-being sector brought to reality in Oulu by the Smart RDI Environment project

During the COVID19 pandemic, the need for digital development became clearer than ever before. Utilizing digital technologies, wireless solutions and virtual reality in new service structures is essential to deliver health solutions independent of time and place. This need is very well answered in Oulu, the city that boasts a well-deserved reputation as an innovation-friendly health ecosystem. One of the actions recently taken in Oulu is the launch of the Smart RDI environment for digital solutions in health and well-being projects in June 2021. The project is part of the REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) programme and funded by the Council of the Oulu Region for two years as part of the Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clear goals and definite benefits

The project’s activities will strengthen the digital transition of companies and the development of data-based business, as well as cooperation partnerships. The aim is to develop the Smart RDI environment with its operating models and services. The new RDI environment of the OuluHealth ecosystem will promote digitalization and support the co-development of wireless technologies and virtual solutions, such as VR / AR devices and mobile services.

This will be achieved with a strategic approach involving a partnership between several target groups. The project activities bring together companies, researchers, developers and healthcare providers. The project is implemented as a co-operation project with the OuluHealth ecosystem actors (University of Oulu, BusinessOulu, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Oulu University of Applied Sciences), and it is coordinated by the University of Oulu, and its Centre for Health and Technology (CHT).

The collaboration between all OuluHealth stakeholders is promoting the digital transition and the uptake of digital technologies and solutions. The project responds to societal challenges, especially when creating novel digital path solutions for customers, and in developing new wireless, digital and data-led services and businesses. This type of development requires a new type of innovation collaboration models and facilities. This, in turn, will lead to clearly visible results and new ecosystem services in future.

The Smart RDI Environment project is a continuum for OuluHealth ecosystem activities, which are aiming to jointly solve global ecological, economical and social sustainability challenges through Europe’s best ecosystem for producing global added value with digitalisation. The project also benefits from linking the innovation needs and targets of public health care to the co-creation model development and piloting.

Companies as active participants in the project

Companies will be invited to multiple workshops to co-work on collecting the requirements for testing of digital solutions, and for creating digitalization paths and developing better ways to pilot digital services. The high tech companies with know-how e.g. from VR/AR, data management, data mining, AI, videos and communications are welcome for collaboration in addition to Health and Life Science companies. The project invests in the RDI infrastructure and co-creation model development. Therefore, companies and researchers’ input in the project is invaluable to cover the whole chain from public sector needs to practical solutions

‘The Smart RDI Environment will result in creating completely new know-how and capabilities in the RDI environment of the OuluHealth ecosystem. Results accelerate the deployment of wireless and digital solutions and increase the capacity for modern data-based innovation, service development and data management in remote and self-management healthcare,‘ highlights Prof. of Practice Maritta-Perälä-Heape, Director of Centre for Health and Technology.

More information about the project coming soon.

Companies interested in joining the Smart RDI Environment project collaboration are kindly requested to contact Project Coordinator, Jarmo Pääkkönen.

Contact person

Jarmo Pääkkönen

Project Coordinator

CHT, University of Oulu


Text: Joanna Seppänen, Health and Life Science, BusinessOulu in cooperation with CHT.