First partner meeting in Team Nordic Arctic

Last week ProTromsø and Business Oulu visited Umeå kommun and Västerbotten Chamber of Commerce



The municipality of Umeå welcomed the Team Nordic Arctic delegation with representatives from Business Oulu and ProTromsø, in order to discuss future collaborations between the three Nordic countries.

Cathrin Alenskär, the international advisor at Umeå kommun presented the history and the unique features of the largest city in Västerbotten region in northern Sweden.

Anders Hjalmarsson, manager of Västerbotten Chamber of Commerce and Cathrin Alenskär, manager of International affairs at Umeå Municipality. Photo: Maja Terning, Business Oulu

The city is renowned for their commitment and development of the cultural industry, since hosting the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Today, the University’s Design Institute is again voted as the top design educations in Europe and Americas

As a part of the European Capital of Culture, eXpression Umeå opened its doors in order to become the first academic incubator aimed at cultural and creative companies with innovative business ideas. Today they are one of Sweden’s leading incubators in their field and every year they support around 100 idea carriers and entrepreneurs. 

The incubator offer personalised business coaching, workshops with experts and a creative space for work, networking and community.

Finnish and Norwegian partners in Team Nordic Arctic outside the municipality of Umeå. From left: Maja Terning and Sanna Savolainen from Business Oulu and Gøril Johansen, ProTromsø. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

Umeå is also known for their development of a thriving and international game industry, which host over 75 companies who currently employs over 500 professionals. 

The city is rapidly growing and faces many of the same challenges such as Tromsø and Oulu, in relation to recruitment, industry diversification and retaining youth. Many of these common issues are among the purposes of establishing the Team Nordic Arctic project. 

Read more about the Team Nordic Arctic project further down in this article.

Presentations at Mind Detonator, game village in Jörn. Photo: Maja Terning, Business Oulu

In addition to meeting Umeå, we also were invited to visit the small city of Jörn, 40 minutes north of Skellefteå, and the home to Mind Detonator

Mind Detonator is a game catalyst that operates outside of the major cities. It is an initiative to complement the gaming industry as it is today, to broaden it and share the opportunities this industry has to offer in smaller towns where there are high chances for a great quality of life and low overhead costs. This provides an opportunity for a very focused game production at an early stage. 

Their CEO Lars Lindblom gave a motivating introduction to the gaming village, and showcased a successful and innovative way to revive smaller cities and towns.

CEO Lars Lindblom, Julie Sørensen, ProTromsø, Maja Terning and Sanna Savolainen, Business Oulu

The Team Nordic Arctic is a project funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Arktis 2030. The goal of the project, led by ProTromsø, is to strengthen the North Nordic region through business collaborations. The project aims to enhance the cooperation between Norway, Sweden and Finland in the Arctic by applying Norwegian know-how on Arctic society, business, and knowledge.

The overall goal of the project is enhanced Nordic cooperation in the High North in difficult times. We aim to strengthen the Arctic communities in the Nordic countries through sustainable business development, recruitment of youth talents and the inclusion of indigenous people and minorities. One of the main work packages includes Arctic Business Matchmaking in each of the three partnering countries, held in Oulu, Finland, Umeå, Sweden and Tromsø, Norway.

If you wish to hear more about participating in the project or in the B2B matchmakings, please contact project manager Julie-Helene D. Sørensen at

The visit to Northern Sweden ended with business meetings in Luleå with Stenvall and Luleå Business Region. Photo: Maja Terning, Business Oulu