Cooperation and impact

Digital solutions in sensing and interactions


Inventions and business ideas

The research at the university produces many different kinds of results: new knowledge, materials, methods, devices, software, databases, inventions and startups. These provide the basis for publications and collaborative projects but also for creating new business.

Employees of the university make approximately 60 invention disclosures annually. About half of them come from the focus area of Digital solutions in sensing and interactions. 10-20 % of inventions are transferred to ICT companies for future development, whereas a few are patented by the university and commercialised through new startups or licensing.

Inventions and business ideas can be developed further e.g. in Tekes funded TUTLI-projects. This funding aims to generate new research based business (new startups or licenses).



Annually 2-4 new research-based startups are established. Altogether more than 60 research-based startups have emerged from the University of Oulu in the last ten years. About half of these have roots in the research made at the focus area of Digital solutions in sensing and interactions. The latest internationally acknowledged startups are:

IndoorAtlas develops indoor location services based on magnetic field. The company raised large public attention when launching its service in summer 2013. During the last years, the company has been able to get several investments from venture capitalists.

KNL Networks (formerly Kyynel) develops wireless communication systems utilizing high frequency terrestrial radio. These systems can provide global connectivity to e.g. ships. 

Valossa Labs develops techniques to understand the deep content data of videos. 


Networks and partners

The University of Oulu is a member of the Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA). This alliance between public and private operators seeks to strengthen Oulu as the fastest growing international urban area in the Nordic countries. The alliance steers research, development and innovation activities in Oulu within five ecosystems, including the ICT and digitalisation ecosystem.

HILLA - High-tech ICT leverage programme started in 2015, is a national-level change and catalyst programme developing new innovative ways of working, business models and making focused investments to new digitalising industries. HILLA serves hundreds of profiled ICT companies and several research organisations through its spearhead programmes, joint business development streams and specialist ecosystems. HILLA is hosted by the University of Oulu.

CEMIS - Centre for Measurement and Information Systems is a contract-based joint centre of the Universities of Oulu and Jyväskylä, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. and CSC - IT Centre for Science Ltd. CEMIS specialises in research and training in the field of measurement and information systems.

Analytics+ is the largest northern Scandinavian analytics hub. Analytics+ is an easy access option for any business to find the best data analytics partner for specific need. It uses new data business models in partnership with top analytics companies and data scientists. Currently, more than 200 data insight experts and 26 industrial partners are active within Analytics+. This hub is jointly hosted by the University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

SuperIoT is a Finland-based IoT alliance and development programme. With comprehensive digitalisation, it can deliver the whole IoT solution from sensors and wireless connectivity to data analytics. SuperIoT alliance has more than 120 industrial partners. It is jointly hosted by the University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The Joint Center for Future Connectivity established by Nokia Bell Labs and the University of Oulu aims at being a world leader in the development of new radio technologies and system architectures for 5G and beyond. The project-based research and training operations of the Center boost innovativeness and industry-academia collaboration, and thus answer the major challenges of future wireless connectivity.

In 2011, the University of Oulu expanded its cooperation with Japanese universities by opening an office in Yokohama. The CWC Nippon office strives to support continuity in cooperation, encourage multidisciplinary research, and create new international cooperation models with business as well. Cooperation between CWC-Nippon and their Japanese partners concentrates mainly on sensor technologies, telecommunications network technologies, wireless devices and medical technology.

Finnish-American cooperation is strong in future wireless network technologies development through e.g. the WiFiUS institute. The institute is managed and coordinated by the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) of the University of Oulu.

Finnish-Chinese collaboration in computer vision, machine learning and affective computing is very strong. It includes many visiting Chinese Scholars in Oulu, participation in China‘s provincial 100 Talents Programs, and visits of our researchers to Chinese universities and research institutes. These have led to new research projects and several joint publications in leading journals and conferences.

Security and Software Engineering Research Site of Oulu is a part of Software Engineering Research Centre (S2ERC) that is one of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) operating since 2010 in the United States. The mission of S2ERC is to conduct a program of applied and basic research on software security, system security and software technology problems of interest to its members. The goal of this research is to enable security and software technology gains within member organisations.

EIT Digital supports Europe’s digital transformation by focusing on European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education. It is one of the six Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which integrate education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. The focus areas of EIT Digital relate to Europe’s strategic, societal challenges: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Infrastructure. The University of Oulu is one of the core partners of the community and belongs to Helsinki Node, a physical “co-location centre” where the activities are coordinated and carried out nationally.