Business Kuopio


Networks and Partners

The business ecosystem in Kuopio region is active and undergoing continuous development. New and existing business environments are actively developed together with companies. A great example of how new collaborations and growing businesses are being created and developed is Kuopio Health, an open innovation ecosystem. We also work continuously with the region’s services for businesses and regional development projects that support business growth.

Ecosystems and clusters

Kuopio Health is a network committed to promoting wellbeing, food industry and health care technology competence, research and business life as well as health care industry awareness locally, nationally and internationally. Kuopio Health promotes development, research and new innovations based on customer needs and acts as a platform for new products and services.

Kuopio Health conforms to an open innovation model by combining the public sector, academic world, business life and end-users: it aims to enable the creation of new solutions and networks. Kuopio Health provide excellent health care expertise and training together with a quality operating environment and business networks for Finnish and global healthcare technology companies and innovators.

Kuopio Water Cluster (KWC) – concentrates the research, development and innovation in water-sector in Pohjois-Savo region and Finland. The Cluster offers a one-stop solution for rapid product development, testing and commercialisation services for companies operating in the water technology sector. Kuopio Water Cluster provides access to specialised laboratories, experts, and assisting personnel from all partnering organisations. Laboratory scale tests are combined with custom-made, containerised pilot-scale test-rigs allowing for rapid on-site demonstrations.

Food Valley (Ruokalaakso) develops collaboration and network between educational, research and development organizations and food companies. They bring together expertise, needs and know-how by improving network-like behaviour between companies and organizations. Our operational model was created to allow improved co-operation and services between the organizations. One of our goals is to encourage companies and organizations to learn from each other but also from the customers, promoting synergy. The core function is to support the expertise of wellbeing promoting food production, development and processing.

Energy Cluster North Savo – North Savo region is witnessing the establishment of an extensive energy cluster in support of machine and metal industry, the key industrial sector and a major smart specialization focus in the region, with the objective to improve the international growth potential of businesses in the energy sector through innovation, services of research institutions and product development. The cluster will be established during 2020 -2021. Main actors in the project are Savonia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Navitas Business Services, and approximately 20 businesses in energy sector (also new companies are accepted to the project).

World class education and research

The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) is one of the largest universities in Finland. UEF’s research is ranked among the best in the world in several fields. As a multidisciplinary university, UEF trains experts for the various sectors of society and seeks solutions to global challenges through multidisciplinary research and education.

Research carried out at the University of Eastern Finland is of a high international standard and has significant impact in four global challenges for which they seek solutions through the interdisciplinary research and education. These challenges are Ageing, lifestyles and health; Learning in a digitised society; Cultural encounters, mobilities and borders; and Environmental change and sufficiency of natural resources. UEF is a multidisciplinary university, and offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. UEF campuses are located in Joensuu and Kuopio with approximately 15,500 students and 2,500 staff members.

Savonia University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest and most versatile Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. Savonia educates strong professionals in six different fields of study. The versatile Degree Programmes offer the students the opportunity to study as a fulltime student or alongside their job (Master’s Degree and specialised studies) or flexibly in the Open University of Applied Sciences. Savonia has selected focus areas which are Applied Wellbeing Technology, Innovative Engineering and Energy Industries, Responsible Food Production and Water Safety. The unifying theme in these areas is digital solutions. The philosophy of the focus areas is built on product development, creative experiments, entrepreneurship, innovations, business expertise and internationality. Savonia campuses are located in Kuopio, Iisalmi and Varkaus.

Savonia University of Applied Sciences offers a wide variety of product development services for companies, such as testing products and materials in the construction, electricity and food sectors. Their services include EMC laboratory testing, concrete testing, environmental engineering and applied healthcare technology.

Savo Consortium for Education is composed of Savo Vocational College and Varkaus Upper secondary School. Vocational College arranges vocational education and training for school leavers and adults, whereas Varkaus Upper Secondary School provides general upper secondary education. In addition, the college is an active partner to local business life.

PelastusopistoEmergency Services Academy Finland provides vocational education for firefighters, sub-officers, fire officers and emergency response centre operators in Finland. They also offer a wide variety of specially tailored further training and in-service training for national and international professionals in the rescue and emergency field. Pelastusopisto is responsible for the training and recruitment of Finnish experts to international civil protection missions.

National sector research centers

VTT Technical research centre of Finland is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. They drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. VTT goes beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. Kuopio offices of VTT are focused on Health Data Sciences.

GTK The Geological Survey of Finland is a leading European competence centre on assessment and sustainable use of geological resources. They provide expertise that serves the interests of their clients, stakeholders and society as a whole. Working closely with clients and partners, GTK creates solutions that lead to new technologies and business areas, as well as promote sustainable growth.

THL The National Institute for Health and Welfare studies, monitors, and develops measures to promote the well-being and health of the population in Finland. They gather and produce information based on research and register data. THL also provides expertise and solutions to support decision-making. They serve various parties: the government, municipal and provincial decision-makers, actors in the social welfare and health sector, organisations, the research community, and the public. THL helps their customers and partners to secure quality of life for Finns in a fair but dynamic welfare society.

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. Researchers and specialists working in Luke provide new solutions towards the sustainable development of the Finnish bioeconomy and the promotion of new biobased businesses. Luke also monitors natural resources, certifies plant production, inspects control agents, stores genetic resources, produces data on greenhouse gases, supports natural resource policies and produces Finland’s official food and natural resource statistics. The Kuopio unit of Luke is located in Maaninka, 45 km from Kuopio, and it’s research focuses on dairy and grass production.

Kuopio University Hospital

Kuopio University Hospital, KUH, is one of Finland’s five university hospitals. The Hospital conducts internationally respected research, provides high-quality clinical care and trains top specialists for Finnish health care. KUH operates more than 600 beds and employs over 4000 employees. KUH is responsible for specialised medical care for a total of more than 800,000 patients in Central and Eastern Finland. Strong research areas of KUH include both neurosciences and major chronic diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disorders, obesity and cancers. The Hospital is located in the Kuopio Science Park and is thus engaged in important collaboration with the Science Park’s research centres and the University of Eastern Finland

Living Labs

Kuopio Living Lab is a concept for product development and testing services formed by three expert organisations: Kuopio University Hospital (KUH), the City of Kuopio, and Savonia University of Applied Sciences. Kuopio Living Lab enables the companies in healthcare and wellness technologies to test the product in authentic customer and expert environments, and to provide various services to the companies at different stages of product development from idea to the market.


Kuopio and Kuopio-based organisations are active in various national and international business collaboration networks. You can find an extensive list of networks here

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