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Oulu has successfully created an intensive culture of use for information and communications technologies.
Oulu, located in northern Finland, is the only European city to be selected among the 2012 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Intelligent Community Forum's Top Seven are communities that provide a model of economic and social development in the 21st Century using information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture.
According to the Intelligent Community Forum, when heavy industry went into steep decline, the Nokia Research Center and small-to-midsize enterprises (SMEs) became Oulu's biggest employers. But city leaders remained alert to "the Nokia threat" – employment concentrated in a single large company – and founded the Oulu Technology Park to incubate more SMEs.
Despite the financial crisis that hit in 2007, Oulu has managed to create 18,000 jobs in high technology, thanks to risk-taking in education and strong public-private collaboration. The government of Oulu has also created an intensive culture of use for information and communications technologies, according to the Intelligent Community Forum.
This year the Intelligent Community Award had 364 nominees. The winner of the award will be announced in New York on 8 June. Each finalist exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world.
22 May 2012
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