The priority areas of InnoCityJoensuu are forest bioeconomy and photonics.
Forest bioeconomy

The Joensuu region’s strong expertise and development potential in bioeconomy is particularly focused on forest bioeconomy. The focus of new innovations is on the circular economy and the overall opportunities created by forests. 

The Forest Capital Joensuu programme, published in September 2023, has identified cross-cutting education, training and research in the forest sector, as well as healthy forests and diverse business activities, as the most significant competitive factors. The programme also identified smart forestry, cooperation and networks as competitive factors. The head office of the European Forest Institute EFI has been operating in Joensuu for 30 years, and the region houses about 600 companies in the field of forest bioeconomy. The Joensuu forest bioeconomy cluster provides approximately 6,000 jobs, 600 of which are expert and RDI positions. Forestry professionals are trained at three different levels of education, from practical forest professionals to doctors. The objective of the ecosystem agreement is to further intensify cooperation between companies and RDI activities.

The businesses in the region are top experts in the sustainable use of forests, the development of which is supported by new technologies, digitalisation and photonics, for example. Joensuu’s forest expertise produces solutions for activities such as the acquisition of forest data, forest resource management, forest fire prevention and the utilisation of forest materials. The forest and wood processing industry as well as the machine and equipment manufacturing industry are also a significant part of the forest bioeconomy cluster in the region. New growth is sought in the development of natural solutions for cosmetics and the food industry and the recreational use of forests, among other things.

Learn more:

Forest Joensuu network
Joensuu, the Forest Capital of Europe
Forest Capital Joensuu programme (in Finnish)

Business Joensuu’s services for forest bioeconomy operators


Joensuu is one of Europe’s leading photonics centres, and this fast-growing sector shows significant potential for the region. The region’s special expertise in photonics focuses on micro- and nanophotonics, as well as hyperspectral imaging, the applications of which are used in solutions such as augmented reality displays and various mobile devices.

A significant concentration of photonics operators has emerged in Joensuu. The headquarters of the European Optical Society and Photonics Finland are located in Joensuu. Located on the campus of the University of Eastern Finland, Photonics Center Ltd. serves companies in the photonics industry in product development and market activities. The Centre for Photonics Sciences under the University of Eastern Finland, which is part of the Academy of Finland’s PREIN Flagship, also operates in Joensuu. Photonics research has been carried out in Joensuu since 1970. Karelia University of Applied Sciences has a high-quality precision laboratory that meets the specific requirements of photonics. 

Learn more:

Business Joensuu’s services for photonics operators

Development of priority areas

The development of the priority areas is directed by the Photonics Joensuu and Forest Joensuu networks. The practical operation of the networks is coordinated by the Innovation Joensuu working group, which is part of the Business Alliance to be established in accordance with the ecosystem agreement. In addition to the City of Joensuu, the practical measures of the ecosystem agreement are implemented by regional cooperation partners: Business Joensuu, University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Natural Resources Institute Finland. 

Learn more about InnoCity Joensuu (in Finnish)

Joensuu ecosystem agreement (In Finnish

Contact information:

Permanent Secretary Jenni Jokela, Jenni Jokela,, puh. 050 380 3552
Business Services Director Pauliina Pikkujämsä,, puh. 040 743 4362