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Robotics Campus – Scale Up! project boosted the growth of Riihimäki’s robotics innovation and knowledge ecosystems

13.6.2024 news Robotics Campus – Scale up Robotics

The City of Riihimäki and Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) have been investing in robotics education and skills for several years. The Robotics Campus – Scale Up! project provided excellent international experience and networks to scale robotics expertise towards innovation and growth.

“During the project, we drew up a letter of intent to locate HAMK’s new campus in Riihimäki station area and steered development activities to meet the needs of the innovation ecosystem by establishing a completely new Technology and Innovation unit. A cooperation agreement with the city of Odense and Riihimäki’s already high-quality robotics education pathway from early childhood education to higher education received a new international boost during the project. Now we have the ingredients for a successful robotics city in Riihimäki,” says Riihimäki Mayor Jouni Eho.

A study trip to robotics city Odense, Denmark, and several national and international workshops provided the tools for building the robotics innovation and knowledge ecosystem. The project enabled the use of the experience and networks of international experts in the field.

Two new international degree programmes at HAMK Riihimäki

As part of the project, HAMK designed two new English-taught Bachelor’s degree programmes with more than 100 international students starting in August.

The Degree Programme in ICT, Robotics (Bachelor of Engineering) will produce engineering competencies for jobs in the field of technology. The Degree Programme in Sustainable Urban Design (Bachelor of Engineering) provides a broad range of skills for traffic management and urban infrastructure, with an emphasis on applying new technologies.

“We were able to invest in educational design in a new way. We applied service design in the planning process and invited stakeholder to plan the degree programmes together with us. In addition to strong technical skills, engineering students also need skills such as applying sustainability thinking to challenges that they will face in their profession. Teaching is based on Design-Based Education pedagogy, which supports students to learning together – by exploring and experimenting with solutions to, for example, assignments from the industry,” says Jaana Sipilä, Education Specialist at the School of Business, Design and Technology at HAMK.

Both degree programmes offer also young people in the Riihimäki region the opportunity to obtain an international degree and pursue a career, for example, in international companies. The new degree programmes will strengthen the robotics education pathway from early childhood education and primary school to secondary education and on to higher education.

“The City of Riihimäki will act as a learning platform, providing students of robotics and urban design with a hands-on environment and unique learning opportunities. The number of applicants for the degree programmes shows a great interest in Riihimäki’s new educational offer,” says Lassi Martikainen, Dean of the School Business, Design and Technology at HAMK.

Riihimäki’s robotics education model receives international attention

During the project, alltogether fifteen robotics teachers in basic education from six different European countries took part in the in-service training online and in Slovenia organized by Robotics Campus and the city of Riihimäki. The experience and feedback from the training confirmed that the Riihimäki model has a lot to offer to European technology education, especially in terms of teaching future skills.

The Riihimäki model for robotics education was presented at an invitation-only seminar organised with Häme EU Office in Brussels. In addition, the project built a Nordic network of partners to implement new international projects in the field of research and education development.

RoboTaika invited entrepreneurs and citizens to explore robotics

Citizens and businesses were invited to explore AI and robotics from different perspectives. The RoboTaika Seminar for businesses shook up thinking about technology and business opportunities.

The RoboTaika Urban Festival, held in the shopping centre Majakka, aimed to create good mood featuring a variety of robots, a Pepper robot dance workshop, robotics-themed pastries, AI-generated music and images, and a brass band from the Riihimäki Musiikkiopisto. Hyria’s talented students played a big role in the success of the RoboTaika Seminar. A recording of the seminar is available on the City of Riihimäki’s YouTube channel.

The project was supported by the Häme Regional Council under the Programme for Supporting Regions for Sustainable Growth and Vitality (AKKE). The project started on 1.2.2023 and ended on 31.5.2024.

Further information:  

Jouni Eho, Mayor, City of Riihimäki, +358 44 767 6674

Pia Engström, Development Manager, City of Riihimäki, +358 40 629 7672

Lassi Martikainen, Dean, the School of Business, Design and Technology, Häme University of Applied Sciences, +358 40 822 1734.

Jaana Sipilä, Education Specialist, Department of Business, Design and Technology, Häme University of Applied Sciences, +358 50 443 3447