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IR 2001 Workshop will be held 19th-21st at the University of Oulu, which was founded in 1958. It has grown quickly and is now one of the largest and leading universities in Finland. The university operates in eight major fields: Humanities, Education, Economics, Natural Sciences, Technology (including Architecture), Medicine, Dentistry and Health Care, distributed in six faculties. In addition, the town of Kajaani, situated about 185 kilometres to the southeast of Oulu, is home to the Department of Teacher Education in Kajaani, as well as the Research and Development Centre of Kajaani. The multidisciplinary fields of expertise in the University of Oulu are Biotechnology, Information Technology and Northern Issues. Postgraduate studies may be followed in all subject areas, leading to the degrees of licentiate and doctorate. Over a thousand degrees are awarded every year. International links and cooperation with local industries and businesses form an essential and integral part of the university's teaching and research activities.
More than 13 000 students study at the University of Oulu, three-quarters of these coming from the two northernmost provinces (i.e. local government districts) of Finland: the provinces of Lapland and Oulu. Two-thirds of all students eventually find jobs in this central and northern area. Approximately 2000 new students start their studies each year. The total number of staff is more than 3000.
About 800 000 people live within the university's immediate sphere of influence which geographically embraces more than half the surface area of Finland. The university's general impact is seen most strongly in the business and cultural life of the area.
The City of Oulu is the capital of northern Finland. The Oulu Region has almost 200,000 inhabitants and it is the fastest growing region in Finland. The population of the City of Oulu itself is over 120,000 inhabitants. There are good opportunities for studying, working and doing research and development, especially in the hi-tech sector. The Oulu Region also has a lively cultural climate.
Nowadays the Oulu Region is well known for its technology, the hi-tech growth having started after the establishment of Oulu University in 1958. In the region there are two science parks; Technopolis Plc, the first in Scandinavia, and Medipolis Ltd., plus a technology centre, Ii Micropolis Ltd. There are many research institutes, for instance the Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University Hospital. The Oulu Region is home to many hi-tech companies like Nokia, and there are currently over 10,000 people employed by the hi-tech sector. There is also a multidisciplinary Polytechnic in Oulu.
Oulu has an international airport and there are about 15 flights to and from Helsinki each day. The flight time is about one hour. There are also direct flights to Stockholm and cargo flights to central Europe.
IR 2001 Workshop is organized by research groups MediaTeam Oulu and Machine Vision and Intelligent Systems. Both groups are members of Infotech Oulu, which is an umbrella organization, founded at the University of Oulu in 1996, for the purpose of promoting long-term research in information technology. It also advances research training and international contacts by supporting and arranging advanced courses, research workshops and researcher exchange.
Infotech Oulu Graduate School operates in four areas, which correspond to the major research fields of Infotech Oulu. These are electronics and measurement technology, information processing engineering, software engineering and information systems, and wireless communications. Its goal is to systematize curriculum and intensify doctoral studies. The school organizes lecture series, courses and summer and winter schools. The total number of graduate students is about 200.
For the three-year period, starting in the beginning of the year 2000, nine research groups were selected to Infotech Oulu based an external evaluation. Some groups are jointly formed by researchers from the University of Oulu and VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland. The total number of personnel in the research groups of Infotech Oulu was over 460 in the end of the year 2000. The administrative staff in the umbrella organization consists of the scientific director, coordinator and part-time secretary.
The research is mainly externally funded. Salaries of professors, assistants, etc. are considered as internal funding. Infotech Oulu received FIM 3.0 million from the University of Oulu. FIM 2.4 million of this funding was directed to the research groups according to their evaluation results in the application. External funding for the research is obtained from various sources, including the National Technology Agency (39 %), the Academy of Finland (6 %), the Ministry of Education (6 %), the European Commission (7 %), and industry (25 %). The total sum of external funding in the year 2000 was over FIM 96 million.
IR 2001 Workshop is partially funded by Infotech Oulu.