Kainuu region, bordering the regions of Northern Ostrobothnia, North Karelia and Northern Savonia in Finland and Republic of Karelia in Russia, is a safe and bustling place to live in. In Kainuu there is lot of space for living and doing. The region comprises eight municipalities that have altogether about 73,600 inhabitants (2018).
The strengths standing out in the regional profile of Kainuu are nature, space and natural resources as well as the infrastructure and a sustainable community structure. The location of Kainuu in the middle of Finland makes both south and north Finland easily accessible and Helsinki is only about an hour's flight away. The region has good services, cooperation networks and attractive environment for living, for carrying out business activities or working, as well as for travelling. Kainuu is known as an interesting travel destination throughout the year, with several resorts offering varied services, for example unique experiences with photography trips and bear watching in the wild or excellent training circumstances for sports and activity holidays.
Key developing businesses in Kainuu region are tourism, technology industries including ICT-, electronics and metal clusters, bio economy and eco efficient mining. The technology industry in Kainuu region is export-oriented and developments lead by the ICT and electronics sectors as well as the metal sector. The prospects for growth are good for the frontline sectors and they also seek for new openings with help of pilot projects and creating business ecosystems.
There are excellent prerequisites for developing bio economy in Kainuu, since both our renewable natural resources and the know-how in the field are considerable. The forests of Kainuu are an essential resource for bio economy that may be used to produce for example fuel, bio plastics or different kinds of construction materials and new products based on utilization of side-flows. Circular economy and utilization of locally produced raw material enhances sustainable and energy-efficient production.
Responsible and eco-efficient mining is growing with force and in a varied manner, especially in Kainuu with lot of raw materials. The goal is to contribute to the possibilities of the Kainuu based SME companies of this field and their service enterprises to act in the national and international level. Especially the extractive industries are developed in cooperation between the Eastern and Northern regions of Finland.

The Smart Specialization Priorities of Kainuu region for 2018–2021

The Smart Specialization choices of Kainuu region for years 2018-2021 are:

  • Innovations in the technology industry related to applications of measurement technology, technology related to games and simulators and metal industry,
  • Innovations related to mining and forest bio economy, concentrating on monitoring of production processes and environment, as well as on innovations related to forest-, foodstuff and Blue Bio Economy and
  • Developing the wellbeing and health theme, concentrating on innovations of activity tourism, nutrition, physical exercise and sports.

Bringing technology applications to product development and manufacturing that´ll speed up development, utilising robotics, automation, data centre activities and data analysis in the smart specialization fields of expertise, new solutions and applications of circular economy as well as decarbonisation, resource efficiency and innovations controlling the climate change are considered cross-cutting themes of Kainuu Smart Specialization choices.

As a whole, by developing smart specialization, the Kainuu region aims at bringing investments, technology, enterprises and know-how (especially companies and labour with high level of know-how) to the region and adding value and volume to exports.

See also:

The Regional Council of Kainuu

More information on Smart Specialization in Kainuu here (pdf).