This year´s theme is "Intelligent communities as launching pads for innovation." The contest placed special emphasis on wireless communication, quality of education and responses to the needs of further education, size of the digital community and progressive, public wireless services. Sari Päivärinta, an expert on international communication at Business Oulu, says that Oulu´s success in the competition has already become a source of pride for professionals in the city. "This city is a living laboratory for information and communications technology," she says.
The annually held competition is organized by the Intelligent Community Forum, a think-tank based in New York that focuses on studying economic and social development in 21st century communities.
The eventual winner will be the city that has most effectively managed to utilize information and communications technology in creating new jobs and improving services for residents. The top city will be crowned "Intelligent community of the year" by the ICF. Last May in New York, the organization named the former Minister of Communications and Oulu native Suvi Lindén "visionary of the year."