Best practices in promoting innovation in Arctic context – case Oulu Innovation Alliance
|Session Name||4.13 The Interplay between Science, Politics and Business - impacts, learned lessons and ideas|
|Author(s)||Henna Longi (University of Oulu, Finland), Tero Leppänen (University of Oulu, Finland), Pekka Tervonen (University of Oulu, Finland)|
National, regional, and local governments are seeking more cost-efficient ways to stimulate job creation and growth that are less dependent on public resources. One of these strategies is the development of platform and network based models.
Strategic agreement, The Oulu Innovation Alliance, was initially made in 2009. The purpose of OIA to continue the long tradition of cooperation between education, research and private sectors in Oulu and to enhance innovation activity. Currently, OIA has eight partnering organizations and five sub-ecosystems: ICT & Digitalization, Industry 2026, Agile Commercialization, OuluHealth, and Attractive Northern City.
OIA as an innovation ecosystem and cooperation network has resulted in countless R&D&I projects where multiple OIA partners have come together for a common goal and increased the possibility for new, multidisciplinary innovations to emerge from collaboration between ecosystems. However, OIA is not without its faults and additional efforts are required to elevate the cooperation to a next level. OIA’s vision needs commitment from partnering organizations and their strategies need to be aligned with OIA’s operations and strategies.
In order to find the best practices and lessons learned from OIA, a desk study of relevant documents and interviews of operative actors of OIA and relevant stakeholders are analyzed. Other Arctic regions, especially Skandinavian Arctic, should take the best practices of OIA and try implementing them by creating a similar open innovation ecosystem and cooperation network. Scandinavian Arctic is leading the way in versatile research and development activities and OIA framework serves as a pilot project of that.
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