The University of Oulu coordinates the Kajaani University Consortium. It is a network-type science community, where also the Universities of Eastern Finland, Jyväskylä, and Lapland operate in their own areas of responsibility. In the University Consortium, the University of Oulu is responsible for information technology and electrical engineering, biotechnology, information processing science, medicine, and adult education. Kajaani University Consorium and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences together make up the Consortium of Higher Education in Kajaani.
The Kerttu Saalasti Institute (previously Oulu Southern Institute) in Nivala is in collaboration with the companies, municipalities, federations of municipalities and education institutes in the region, and with several foreign and Finnish universities and other organizations. The central strategy of the Institute is to develop companies and communities to strengthen the vitality of the region.