Oulu is also an international research and development centre, with 25 000 students at two universities. One in three people have an academic degree. The collaboration between companies, the public sector and the universities is intensive, and the city bustles with innovations and opportunities.
Oulu is among Europe’s youngest cities, as the average age is just 38 years. When it comes to quality of life, people in Oulu are the happiest in the north.
Besides wireless technologies and the Air Guitar World Championships, Oulu is world-famous for its well-maintained 1000-kilometre network of bicycle routes and the resilience of local winter bikers. Minus 20 degrees is not an excuse for not going to work or school by bike.
Oulu has four distinct seasons, ranging from the midnight sun of the summer to the crisp winter days and polar night coloured by northern lights above a thick blanket of snow. The seaside setting and four rivers with the nearby countryside and wilderness provide perfect ground for recreation, relaxation, and well-being.
For centuries, Oulu has made its mark in international trade by exporting tar, paper, and technology solutions. Today, it is the leading northern Scandinavian hub for business, education, and culture. Recently, Oulu had the honour of being selected as European Capital of Culture for the year 2026.
A pioneering city for digitalisation, Oulu boasts 50 years of expertise in wireless technology. Every day, approximately 2.6 billion people globally use mobile technologies developed in Oulu. The city is at the forefront in 5G network development – and going fast towards 6G.
The Oulu region is the second largest hub of health technology in Finland.
Numerous companies in the health and life science field, with research institutions and the public sector, operate together as a network called OuluHealth. They offer world-class solutions and expand to international markets, striving to transform healthcare on a global scale. As one result, the world’s smartest hospital is being built in Oulu by the year 2030.
The City of Oulu has put together 100 concrete actions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. This circular economy roadmap has five thematic areas: energy, built environment, material flows, food production, and platform economy. These actions enhance the deployment of digital solutions and strong collaboration with companies, research organisations and citizens.