Oulu – the smartest in Europe in 2012
People in Oulu have always been very clever, and now it has been confirmed
that we are the smartest in Europe! Can it really be so?
Yes, indeed it can! As it happens, Oulu is the only European finalist in the Intelligent Community Forum’s annual competition. This gives us plenty to boast about.
The ICF received over 360 applications from all over the world and Oulu made it into the finals, along with seven other communities. Before the Intelligent Community of 2012 is announced in June in New York, we can fully enjoy being the smartest in Europe.
The top seven communities represent models of economic and social transformation in the twenty-first century. Each community exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages everywhere around the world. They are charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens, businesses and institutions. Moreover, these communities value and encourage creativity in the form of arts and culture.
Perhaps the best example of unlimited creativity in Oulu is the Air Guitar World Championships, which have proven to be increasingly popular year after year, attracting a huge global fan base. Another somewhat wild Oulu innovation is the Valkee headset, which in winter time channels bright light into one’s brain through the ear canal, simulating the mood-elevating effects of the sun.
Yet another great example of truly international innovations originating from Oulu is the Polar Active – an activity monitor for students of all ages working on improving their health and fitness, by measuring the impact of their daily activities. This product was created in collaboration between the University of Oulu and the City of Oulu Educational Services team, and most importantly with local schoolchildren. Overall, the exceptional fluency among public-private-people partnerships was also one of the features that impressed the ICF jury.
We also scored points on the free wireless panOulu network, which many of us take for granted. However, not every city can offer what Oulu does for its citizens day-to-day, such as the OuluCard and OmaOulu services.
Everyone in Oulu can now take pride in these accomplishments. We all make up this intelligent community of ours together, with contributions from every single one of us.
Well done Oulu – officially the Smartest in Europe.
For more information, visit:
Pauliina Pikkujämsä, Head of Marketing & Communications, BusinessOulu
+358 40 743 4362
Outi Rouru-Kuivala, Project Manager, City of Oulu
+358 44 703 1637