Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation Clusters

Global Clusters Programme

Global Clusters is a unique and most advanced business development program in Finland. It is specifically designed for high tech companies targeting critical mass of customers and global market presence. It provides proven tools for global market analysis and strategy development; it assists in identifying customers, partners and investors, it opens their doors and supports follow up and deal closing.

Global Clusters program started in March 2008. It is run by the University of Oulu in cooperation with Oulu Innovation Ltd. and Oulu Wellness Institute Foundation. The program is one of the core activities in the Oulu Inspires innovation strategy launched by the city of Oulu for 2007 – 2013. European Social Fund and TE Centre at Northern Ostrobothnia are co-funding the program.

A World-Class Business Development Program about to Start
(Press Release, Jan 18, 2007)

City of Oulu, Oulu Innovation Ltd, University of Oulu and Oulu Wellness Institute Foundation are in co-operation starting a new Global Clusters program that helps the most promising high-tech companies in Oulu region to enter the global market. The objectives are high but clear:

“Through the program we expect the participating companies to create 250 new jobs and raise € 25 million of Venture Capital investments in the next 5 years. Global Clusters enables the companies to reach the leading position in their product category. This results into the emergence of new growth companies in Oulu region. Examples attract new entrants and thus the total employment effects can become as high as thousand new jobs,’ says Petri Kinnunen, Global Clusters project manager.
Global Clusters is the core project for business expertise and growth company development in the Oulu Inspires innovation strategy. Half of the programs 1,8 million Euro budget comes from the participating companies in the form of participation fees and used working hours. The other half is provided by the TE Centre of Ostrobothnia and the European Social Fund (ESF).

“In the Oulu region the companies have such know-how that is increasingly attracting investments and orders in the world market ‘“ for the fifth consecutive year. Still the R&D investments in the region have started to decline, Venture Capital investments have decreased dramatically and only a very few companies are really targeting the main strategic market. Global Clusters can essentially improve the odds for the companies to succeed in the global market and to capture the required funding. Program utilizes the experiences from the preceding Global Software implementations, the participating companies of which were able to raise 17 million Euro of Venture Capital and created 170 new jobs,’ confirms Juhani Saukkonen, executive director of Global Clusters.

The biggest benefit from the program can be gained by especially the companies that are targeting high-growth in the global market place. Companies can participate in different phases according to their readiness.

  • In Phase I companies’ current business will be positioned and the strategic choices reviewed.
  • Phase II consists of market and competitive analyses, business model development, and the review of what market potential can be reached by doing the right choices.
  • Phase III will be implemented in North America where the product and business concept will be validated in the meetings with real customers, partners and investors. As a result companies will then make the needed adjustments and the final decision on entering or not entering the North American market. Companies with high readiness level can proceed directly to the Launch Phase which aims at setting up and starting the business in North America.

Additional Information:
Juhani Saukkonen, Oulu Innovation Ltd,
juhani.saukkonen@ouluinnovation.com, 040 553 7364
Pasi Sorvisto, Oulu Wellness Institute, pasi.sorvisto@owi.fi, 040 820 1793
Tuula Palmen, Oulu Innovation Ltd.,
tuula.palmen@bioforumoulu.org, 050 461 7290
Jukka Klemettilä, Oulu Innovation Ltd,
jukka.klemettila@ouluinnovation.com, 040 546 7095

Source: Global Clusters