Priorities for development in North Ostrobothnia

Smart specialisation in North Ostrobothnia 2021–2024 

Smart specialisation is a regional innovation policy where regions identify their strengths and areas of development. Regions use their strengths to stand out and succeed. However, for the sake of preparation, the strengths must not be defined too strictly and the regions must also be capable of renewal. 

The goal of smart specialisation is to create innovation ecosystems in the regions, which will facilitate the renewal of business and industry. Cooperation involving research and educational institutions and companies, aimed at generating and adopting new innovations, is one of the strategy’s pillars. It is also important to supplement local competence in collaboration with others. Cooperation partners are found in Finland and the region itself, but increasingly from international networks. 

Regional programme 2022–2025

The regional programme seeks new approaches to regional development and the national development of regions. It focuses on phenomena and themes important to the development of North Ostrobothnia, aiming for flexibility, as well as proactive and quick reaction to changes taking place in our surroundings. Regional programme work has been influenced by the decision made in spring 2020 by Prime Minister Marin’s Government concerning the priorities of regional development in 2020–2023.  

These include:   
1. Mitigating climate change and safeguarding biodiversity  
2. Building sustainable communities with good connections   
3. Innovating business life and accelerating R&D&I   
4. Making skills and education a resource for regional development   
5. Increasing inclusion and wellbeing and preventing inequality     

In addition to increasing wellbeing and competence and renewing employment, business and industry, all of which are key to the region’s dynamism, other central goals include climate change mitigation and the safeguarding of biodiversity, as laid out in the Government Programme. Sustainable development and digitalisation are cross-cutting themes in all these priorities. The regional programme describes how the priorities will be implemented based on the region’s conditions. The regional programme also includes the region’s key strategic priorities for smart specialisation, which promote the region’s competence, specialisation and competitiveness and are a prerequisite for the use of EU regional and research funding. Other plans and programmes that the Council of Oulu Region has prepared to implement the regional programme and specify its goals include the North Ostrobothnia transport system plan 2040, the North Ostrobothnia tourism strategy 2021–2023, the North Ostrobothnia climate road map 2030, the North Ostrobothnia food economy strategy 2017–2025 and the North Ostrobothnia culture development programme 2030, currently under preparation.