ROBBO has opened a representative office in China

 ROBBO, the Russian developer of educational robotics, has opened a Chinese subsidiary, ROBBO China, in Nanjing. The company is now having its trademarks registered in China, testing business models and localizing teaching materials. ROBBO is also developing a network of programming and robotics clubs for children – the ROBBO Clubs.

ROBBO began registering a Chinese subsidiary after winning the Russia-China Competition 2021 and receiving a targeted grant for commercialization in China. The competition required a presentation of a working business plan for the future enterprise and a description of the options for scaling in the country. ROBBO CEO Andrey Smirnov won the contest and will take over the development of ROBBO China. For example, China will test a new bilingual training format for ROBBO: classes will be held in Chinese and English. The company plans to start the first sales of the ROBBO Club franchise in 2023.

"We are glad to see that more and more high-tech companies originating from Russia, including projects of the ASI GoGlobal initiative, are successfully promoting their products for export. It significantly strengthens the position of the domestic EDtech sector at the international level. I would like to point out that winning the Russia-China Competition 2021 gave ROBBO the start for further penetrating the Chinese market. We advise Russian companies to be more active in applying for grants and competitions abroad. The possibility of gaining recognition from a local audience is an argument for subsequent entry into a new market," commented Anton Moskalenkov, Director, International Office, ASI.

"We launched our first programming and robotics club in China in 2017, and even then we were thinking about opening a full-fledged company representative office. We see huge potential for development in the country: the interest in robotics and STEM disciplines is enormous, but most educational organizations use proprietary [not meeting the criteria of free software] hardware and software and ready-made templates. It prevents children from fully immersing themselves in the learning process and inhibits the development of future innovators and inventors. The ROBBO methodology based on the use of open technologies can fundamentally change the situation," said Andrey Smirnov.

The company believes that the education reform that began in China in 2021 will not be an obstacle to business development. "The programming and robotics area is not subject to the current restrictions in the country – it is not included in the pool of school disciplines. Therefore, we expect that the demand to study technical subjects in the country will only grow. In addition, there are now more and more highly qualified teachers on the job market who we can engage at ROBBO China," said Ekaterina Ekalo, Director of Franchising, ROBBO.

ROBBO is a leadership project of ASI, a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation and the Technopark of St. Petersburg, and a participant in the NTI Club Movement (Kruzhok movement). The company's products were developed with the support of the Foundation for Assistance to Innovations and the Ministry for Industry and Trade of Russia. ROBBO is used to teach more than 100,000 children in more than 400 schools and 150 clubs in 24 countries. Representative offices have already been opened in Finland and Japan.