This morning, Fingersoft announced that its latest mobile title, Hill Climb Racing 2, had surpassed 40 million downloads in just two months, topping the iOS racing chart in 121 countries and the overall chart in 64. That puts the sequel well on its way to meeting the expectations set by the original, which has clocked up an incredible half a billion downloads.
All of these are fine achievements, and Fingersoft is a thriving business, but the small Finnish team is keen to do more than just celebrate its own success, as proud of it as they are. Instead, it is investing in the Oulu Game Campus - a joint venture with two universities aimed at giving something back to the community that facilitated the company's success, in true hallmark Nordic style.Read more
OULU, Finland — No one would confuse this frigid corner of northern Finland with Silicon Valley. Notched in low pine forests just 100 miles below the Arctic Circle, Oulu seems more likely to achieve dominance at herding reindeer than at nurturing technology start-ups.
But this city has roots as a hub for wireless communications, and keen aspirations in innovation. It also has thousands of skilled engineers in need of work. Many were laid off by Nokia, the Finnish company once synonymous with mobile telephones and more recently at risk of fading into oblivion.Read more
The mobile communications business has been good to Oulu, and the mobile business has become a threat to its future.
This former industrial city located 200 km south of the Arctic Circle built a tech-based economy in the Eighties around the Nokia Research Center and numerous small-to-midsize enterprises (SMEs) specializing in mobile technologies, many located at the Oulu Technology Park.
The “Nokia risk” as Oulu’s leaders called it, materialized in the new century as the company failed to adapt to the rise of the smartphone and began to downsize its operations. Yet Oulu has created 18,000 new high-tech jobs since 2007, thanks to a decades-old culture of public-private collaboration and its many high-quality educational institutions, including the University of Oulu with its 16,000 students.
The city has built ICT assets such as the PanOULU free wireless network – created by merging Wi-Fi infrastructure from 17 organizations to serve 25,000 users per month – and an e-government Web portal for citizens.
In collaboration with the university and business, it has fostered multiple R&D institutes from the Center for Internet Excellence to Oulu Living Labs, where a broad range of technologies are researched and developed before being tested by residents who volunteer their time and expertise.
The city’s 2007-13 Innovation Strategy stresses the importance of human enthusiasm as a source of innovation. The strategy rests on several key assumptions: that the region has ambitious businesses, that opportunities will arise from connecting them with the potential of the global market, and that services will gain an increasing role in economic growth. But there is another assumption that distinguishes Oulu from many other places. It is that citizens of all ages should be involved in business and institutional innovation.
Whatever the fortunes of its biggest mobile technology employer, Oulu is determined to be a quiet leader in the technologies that will shape our century.
In the News
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Labor Force: 90,000
Smart21 2012 | 2013
Top7 2012 | 2013
Oulu, Finland - The Intelligent Community Forum and the University of Oulu are announcing the launch of a new research collaboration to study innovation platforms and innovative policies in three of ICF’s top-level Intelligent Communities. The study will be conducted in the cities of Taichung, Taiwan; Eindhoven, Netherlands and Oulu, Finland.Read more
Intelligent Community Forum names the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities, all with a track record of new jobs and innovative development
Honolulu, Hawaii & New York, New York – January 23, 2013 – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today named the 2013 Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Top7 list includes three from North America, two from Taiwan and two from Europe. “The Top7 communities of 2013 have made innovation – based on information and communications technology –the cornerstone of their economies and fostered economic growth through high-quality employment, while increasing the quality of life of their citizens,” said Lou Zacharilla, ICF co-founder in announcing the list at the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s annual conference (PTC’13) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.Read more
Intelligent Community Forum provides insight to Metropolitan Moscow on what makes an intelligent community in the 21st century economy
There are clear strategies to build an intelligent community and intelligent communities attract new economic investment
Moscow, Russia – Moscow International Foreign Investment Forum – 17-18 October 2012 – At the first-ever Moscow International Foreign Investment Forum Intelligent Community Forum co-founder John Jung is giving a presentation detailing the steps cities need to take to future-proof themselves in the new broadband-based economy. The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) studies the world’s cities to discover and then share the strategies used to create an Intelligent Community.Read more