Arctic Innovation Hubs: Opportunities for Regional Co-operation and Collaboration in Oulu, Luleå, and Tromsø


  • Henna (Hintsala) Longi Centre for Environment and Energy
  • Sami Niemelä Oulu University of Applied Sciences
  • Pekka Tervonen University of Oulu


Arctic, innovation hub, business development activity, incubators, co-creation


The Northern Review 45 (2017): 77–92

Interest in Arctic issues has been growing in recent years. From an economic perspective, the Barents Region is of significant interest due to substantial investment projects. The European Union has strengthened its presence and influence in the region, playing a role in combatting climate change and optimizing opportunities for northern economic activity. Simultaneously, there have been intentions to narrow the gap between public policy and the private sector to more efficiently exploit business opportunities in the North. Promoting the Arctic’s potential for business development and building stronger co-operation between the region’s actors are among the recent activities in Arctic development. Innovation hubs generate new businesses from ideas and innovations. They operate in global networks by creating added value and attracting more investment capital and talent. This article explores innovation hubs in three regions in Northern Europe—Oulu (Finland), Luleå (Sweden), and Tromsø (Norway). The article examines, through an innovation hub framework, what kind of business development activities are generating growth in these innovation hubs, and what the differences are between these regions. This article discusses whether it is beneficial to have similar innovation service structures in every region, or if connected Arctic innovation hubs that strengthen Arctic co-operation is a better approach. More intensive co-operation between Arctic actors is most likely to require specific actions.






Innovation in the Circumpolar North