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Riihimäki Model is unique and now it is promoted in the EU and Europe

17.3.2023 news

The robotics education model from the city of Riihimäki has gained a lot of attention and interest in the last years. Riihimäki is the only city in Finland – and in Europe, even globally, that implements an unique education model that provides robotics education from day care to the university level, to all children living in the city. The model has been presented in Brussels before, but now they are going to the EU’s headquarters big time. The city of Riihimäki, Riihimäki Robotics Campus, Regional Council of Häme and Häme EU Office organize high level meetings and very topical seminar in Brussels on March.

The green and digital transition open many new opportunities for people and the EU economy. Innovation hubs and ecosystems play an important role in value creation.

Robotics, together with digitalisation and artificial intelligence AI, is vital and highly promising component of economic growth and innovation. The city of Riihimäki wants to bring its contribution to building of a successful, green, digital and inclusive future.

Robotics education is offered in every school in the city and it is integrated in many of the school subjects. Studying is intentional and it has learning objectives of the national curriculum. The model is unique and the city of Riihimäki is raising up a future generation who learn a variety of the key working life and future skills.

– Our unique robotics education model is a springboard for children and young people to get acquinted with the skills needed in the future’s job market. The development of new skills is an important part of the successful innovation ecosystems we are building here at Riihimäki, says the Mayor of Riihimäki city Jouni Eho.

A close and strategic collaboration with businesses and industry is also very active. It fosters building the entire robotics business and innovation ecosystems in the whole region.

– We can assume that in the future every profession will need the basic knowledge of robotics. This is why it is so important to teach robotics to everyone, not just to the technology oriented people. Our region has high level skills for this. Riihimäki model also brings our regional development goals further tremendously, says the Region Mayor Toni K. Laine from the Kanta-Häme region.

Agility, capacity and partner networks from European Union

On March 23rd Häme EU Office in Brussels is going full speed on robotics. The Regional Council of Häme, the City of Riihimäki and Riihimäki Robotics Campus organize high level and very topical seminar on future skills and innovation ecosystems. Riihimäki model is in the core of these two topics. The city of Riihimäki wants to profile as a capital of robotics education and as a pioneer.

Häme EU Office has invited participants from stakeholders who are interested in robotics, education and digitalization such as EU institutions, companies, cities and regional authorities, universities and industries.

Keynote speeches will be from EU Commission, Meta, CEPS and ERRIN. We will also see the stars from Riihimäki on stage, the pupils who are studying robotics.

Riihimäki model is also presented to the head of units in the European Commission, Members of the Parliament and to the permanent representatives of Finland to the EU in Brussels.

– Riihimäki is clearly a forerunner in the European Union. EU is very interested to hear about these kind of unique operations, which ultimately can strengthen the competitiveness in the whole EU level. What comes to the future and working life skills our goal is to raise Riihimäki city as trendsetter in the EU level, says the Director of International Affairs Krista Taipale from Häme EU Office.

Riihimäki model has been presented in Brussels and in Europe before, for example in the European Robotics Week in Poland in 2019. Now they want to significantly strengthen the visibility in EU.

– In a short time we have gained a lot of visibility in Finland and abroad. We have organized Finnish Championship in Riihimäki, and the youth have succeeded in the World Championship games. Visit to Brussels is a great continuity to make robotics education known widely, says the Development Director Esa Santakallio from the city of Riihimäki.

– Education model can be duplicated in Finland and, taking into account country-specific conditions, also internationally. This is one of our main messages in Brussels. And of course we are looking for partnerships and co-creation networks, Esa Santakallio continues.

Robotics education model fits perfectly in the European Year of Skills 2023

The central focus of the European Year of Skills is to help people to get the right skills for quality jobs and helping companies, especially small and medium-sized companies – so basically tackling the EU-wide skills and manpower shortage.

Riihimäki model implements the Year of Skills in a very concrete way. It is a good example of how the future skills are created through the joint and coordinated actions of the city authorities, education administration and schools, companies, industry and universities.

– Every child and youth in Riihimäki studies robotics at least 250 hours, at best even over 1000 hours during the primary school, when counting in the robotics club activities. Robotics is integrated in several school subjects such as crafts, mathematics, physics, environmental studies etc. Robotics curriculum is based on the national level learning objectives, says the Robotics Education Senior Adviser Reetta Viitanen.

When studying robotics pupils learn not only robotics but also other key working life and future skills such as teamwork, problem solving, project management, critical thinking and information retrieval.

– Robotics, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are all increasingly central to our daily lives and the way we work. For this reason, it is extremely important that we raise experts who not only have the above-mentioned skills, but also have a well-founded vision of how we want to utilize these technologies in the future, Reetta Viitanen continues.

For more information, please contact:

Jouni Eho, Mayor, City of Riihimäki, +358 44 767 6674
Esa Santakallio, Development Director, Riihimäki Robotics Campus, +358 40 330 4450
Reetta Viitanen, Robotics Education Senior Adviser, Riihimäki Robotics Campus, +358 40 141 8378
Toni K. Laine, Region Mayor, Kanta-Häme region +358 50 463 7810
Krista Taipale, Director, International Affairs, +32 49 812 6000