Cooperation and impact

Earth and near-space system and environmental change


Inventions and business ideas

The research at the University results among others to new knowledge, biomaterials, products and services for industry, databases, inventions and business ideas. This provides the basis for publications and collaborative projects but also for creating new business.

Employees of the University make appr. 60 invention disclosures annually. Part of the inventions are directly transferred to companies for further development whereas few are patented by University and commercialized via new startups or licensing.

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



In the past ten years more than 60 research-based start-up companies have emerged at the University of Oulu, with 2 to 4 founded each year.  The following companies are among those set up in the focus area of Earth and near-space system and environmental change:

  • Chain Antimicrobials develop and produce medical devices that can prevent infections.
  • NBTec Oy designs, manufactures, and sells treatment equipment for water and waste water. The company produces handling equipment for industrial, agricultural, and other needs that are ecologically efficient, cost-effective, and which use materials efficiently.
  • Sangen produces beers, ciders, gin, whisky, and other alcoholic beverages whose manufacturing processes are based on research and development work involving bioprocesses, microbiology, biology, chemistry, distillation and water management.
  • WMZ-NanoSurfaces offers new kinds of efficient solutions for the use of light and for clean solar technology. The methods are based on patented innovations that mimic nature, which are developed in cooperation with the world's leading researchers.


Networks and partners

Sodankylä Space Centre provides answers to topical arctic questions. Sodankylä Space Centre has expanded from a satellite data centre to a place where the entire chain is handled from the reception of satellite data, to processing and distribution and then the use of data. The data can be used for example by environmental and security authorities. The Sodankylä Space Centre of the Finnish Meteorological Institute´s (FMI-ASC) partners and financiers include international space agencies (ESA, EUMETSAT, NASA, NOAA), the European Union and numerous other national organisations and research institutes such as the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), and the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory at the University of Oulu.

Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility (FinBIF) compiles Finnish biodiversity information to one single service for open access sharing. -portal enables people to browse wide range of information on species, their occurrences, distribution and scientific collections and to record and share observations. The University of Oulu is one partner of the FinBIF.

The Finnish Geosciences Research Laboratory is a joint collaboration of Helsinki, Oulu, Aalto and Turku Universities, Åbo Akademi, and the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

The Finnish Climate Panel is an independent, interdisciplinary think tank of top-level Finnish scholars. The Panel provides scientific advice for policy-making and reinforces interdisciplinary insight in the operation of different sectors. The Panel also serves as an advisor to the Finnish ministerial working group on energy and climate policy. The representative of the university in the panel is Professor Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen.

EISCAT Scientific Association is an international research organisation, undertaking fundamental research into solar-terrestrial physics and atmospheric science. EISCAT operates three high-power incoherent scatter radars, including a radar receiver in Sodankylä, Finland. The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory operates also the Kaira facility (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array), which can function as a fourth receiver for the EISCAT VHF radar.

The Finnish astronomers have access to the most modern Very Large Telescopes at European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile as well as to the Nordic Optical Telescope at La Palma island. They can also apply for time at the facilities of The European Space Agency (ESA) The European Space Agency (ESA) such as International Gamma-Ray Astrophysical Laboratory and XMM-Newton observatories. The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States.