The region of Kainuu has been going through a major structural change. In years gone by, the region’s trade has been centred on agriculture and wood, as a rural region; recently however, high technology, mineral extraction and tourism have seen a strong growth pattern.

Game Development

In the Kajaani region promising developments are taking place in the area of computer gaming. The local gaming cluster is growing, with particular emphasis coming from the local university. The Kajaani University of Applied Sciences offers a 3.5 year international program to train games programmers and the Innova centre provides entrepreneurial support for games students.

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences started to train game programmers in this degree program in 2006. After a pilot scheme of three years and the establishment of the Game Development Laboratory (the KAJAK Game Lab), learning options in this field have been expanded to include all game production business operations. The purpose of the program is to provide students with expertise in developing games and the game industry and help students towards becoming an expert as part of a game production team. The program has already proven to be a succes: games at professional level have been developed and there has been interest in increased cooperation from several game development companies. Developers within the University are well connected to companies such as Microsoft, PAF, YLE, Futurecode, Finnet. Some of the games developed within the program have also been successful in game competitions. Many students are interested to establish companies related to game development. To underline its ambitions, the University has opened a seed fund for game start-ups and risky demo scene, as well as additional funds for safer bets and advanced opportunities.

The aim of the Kajaani-Kainuu gaming cluster is to create an inspired community of game developers and become a world class location for computer games development. Opportunities for further expansion of this cluster exist when computer gaming knowledge and expertise is combined with locally available biomechanical expertise in sport. Expertise from the sport sector can be used in the concept of computer gaming e.g. virtual training (for sport), but also for entertainment and medical research. Invest in Kainuu would welcome enquiries in this field so that we may introduce you to the relevant parties who are ready and willing to discuss ideas at a detailed level.

In support of the local gaming cluster The Gaming Project is an EU-funded project, run by Kainuun Etu and consisting of a mix of private and governmental money to support new company start-ups by using local talent. It offers support to talented game developers in the region to assist with the setting up of their own games development businesses. Games developers wishing to establish a business in Kainuu are offered coaching by Games industry and Business experts to enable them to start companies with a high chance of success, which will lead to a significant increase in investable Kainuu-based Gaming companies. Support will be provided up to the point where young entrepreneurs can apply for venture capital.

It is important to note that students of the local university are keen to stay in Kajaani, keeping the best of Finnish talent within the local gaming cluster. From this cluster new companies are growing alongside existing companies, many of which are ready for venture capital to allow them to grow and expand.

Measurement Technology Becomes Profitable Business

Why is the Centre for Measurement and Information Systems in Kajaani?
• Long traditions - Kajaani Oy established the electronics industry 40 years ago and thus created a basis for the current measurement technology expertise in Kajaani and the rest of Northern Finland.
• There are more than ten measurement and information system enterprises in Kajaani, employing approximately 400 industry professionals.
• Kajaani is the base for the four measurement and information systems research units (the Measurement and Sensor Laboratory, the Information Processing Science Unit, the Centre for Wireless Communications and the Biotechnology Laboratory) of the University of Oulu, along with a branch of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Sports Technology unit of the University of Jyväskylä and the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences. There are approximately 140 industry experts in research, development and education activities.
• Nationally recognised and respected status as the centre of measurement technology.
• The only centre of excellence specialised in measurement technology in the national network of centres of excellence

Metal Industry

The Kainuu region has a very productive metal industry. Companies have strong competence in planing, sheet metal work, welding, machining, surface treatment, painting, assembly and construction work. Many companies work internationally across multiple business sectors and are ready for further investment.

The Metapart cluster consists of 13 companies from region.


METAPART


• Metal networking power
• Strong metal expertise through cooperation
• High delivery volume
• Versatile production area, machinery and methods
• Comprehensive customer service from delivery entity planning to assembly finishing
• Manufacturer of high, large structures
• Wide know how processing various metals


Products and Operations


• Subcontracting
• Machine and Steel structure design
• Machining
• Demanding welded and machined engineering products
• Processing of special metals
• Production area 9 ha
• Rail vehicles
• Floating technology
• Industrial robotic solutions
• Industrial analysers
• Innovative illuminated advertising
• Profiling machines
• Cable processing equipments
• Special tools for machine tools

Forestry

Kainuu is a region with an annual timber capacity of over 5 million m³ of some of the finest timber resource in Europe, which is responsibly and sustainably managed by an industry that is an integral part of the nature it works in. Kainuu is a forest region with over 90% forest coverage. It is home to some of the most remarkable and versatile timber found anywhere in the world. The total forest volume is 157 million m³. Of those trees 59 % are pine, 24 % spruce and 17 % deciduous trees. 10 % of the trees are outside of the wood production area. Each year forests in Kainuu grow by 6,6 million m³. Yearly growth well exceeds the usage. Growth is almost double compared to harvesting. Therefore the total available volume of wood is growing year by year.

Using wood and the related know-how has long tradition in Kainuu. The forest stock is coniferous forest, so Kainuu has good raw material for wood construction. Kainuu has strong log house industry, therefore, the region has good conditions to rise to the top in wood construction. Wood processing is strong in Kainuu. Wood from Kainuu can be used in many home surfaces – floor, ceiling, walls and furniture. Kainuu wood has found new forms and new product-ideas in the very capable hands of local wood processing professionals.

Natural resources are one of the selected key-sectors in the region and there is a will to devote in it and it is believed to increase the welfare of the region. The forests in Finland are multi-functional: wood production, recreation and forest conservation have always lived side by side, and same applies to Kainuu. The strategic importance of forests for Finland will grow further in the future. The forest sector that is based on sustainable use of the renewable resource offers versatile products and solutions for people and society. Wood is the raw-material of the future. Forest industry products made from renewable wood raw-material can be recycled and at the end of their lifecycle they can be used for bioenergy. By increasing the sustainable use of forests the use of fossil fuels can be cut down, improve energy self-sufficiency and restrain the climate change. (Source: metsäteollisuus ry)

New Products: Sustainable use of forest brings jobs, livelihood, welfare and vitality to the region. The forest industry in Finland produces annually paper products used by 100 million consumers, and wood products used by 50 million consumers. Current products in forest industry form a base for business for a long time from now, since paper, packaging and wood products are all the time developed in to new product generations. Although demand for some paper types grows slowly in the mature markets, new ways of use bring new markets. Globally paper and cardboard demand is growing every year. New products are seeked among other things from bioenergy, bio fuels, smart papers and packaging or combining new technologies (nano technology, information and communication technology) to paper and wood products.

Recyclable and biodegradable products that are based on renewable raw-materials, have significant benefits in the world where requirements from sustainable development regulate production and consumption more and more. This strengthens the competitiveness and demand for wood and paper products in long term. Forests in Finland are PFEC certified.

Private families own 60 % of Finnish forests. Ownership is divided to a great number of people, since every seventh Finn owns forest. Government owns about a quarter of the forests. Usage of government forests is planned together with citizens and other stakeholders. Companies in forest industry own 9 % of forests. (source: metsäteollisuus ry)

Superfruits

Worldwide, the demand for berries has increased significantly in recent years. This is mainly the result of a growing awareness of the (potential) health benefits of berries when used in food products. Superfruit is a relatively new marketing term and refers to a fruit which combines exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with appealing taste. Berries are labelled as super fruit as these are rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, as well as anti-inflammatories. In the beginning of 2000, it was expected that the super food and drinks market would grow substantially and would double in size in the ten-year period up to 2011. The key elements to a successful super fruit product is a combination of the quality of the native fruit, scientific evidence supporting a potential health benefit, marketing and developing an appealing strategy to attract consumers.