Educational Programmes

Educational Programmes

Pioneers into Practice – world’s leading mobility programme for professionals

  • Pioneers into Practice is an educational and mobility programme for professionals that unites industry representatives, small enterprises, higher education establishments, scientific institutes, governmental and non-governmental organisations.
  • The programme provides workshops and online training on the impact of climate change and the systematic approach of innovation, support of coaches in improving skills for problem solutions, work in a cross-disciplinary team, developing a solution for environmental problems for Latvian companies or organisations.
  • To support mobility, a scholarship of EUR 2000 is provided for an internship of four to six weeks at one of over 200 organisations of Member States of the “Pioneer into Practice” programme in Europe. The internship opens up the opportunity for pioneers to come into contact with people of similar thinking from all over Europe.
  • 10 participants are admittted for the national programme.
  • It is possible to apply for participation in the programme by completing an e-form on the Pioneers into Practice webpage.
How to become the climate pioneer?
«The «Pioneer into Practice» programme is appropriate for those who want to extend their vision on both climate change and the process of creating innovation, and are prepared to devote time to creating solutions, jointly with professionals from other areas, for climate change-related challenges for one of the Latvian municipalities,» emphasises Santa Krastiņa, Climate-KIC Hub Latvia Project Manager of RTU Design Factory.
«This is a brilliant opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, obtain new experience and knowledge, accept challenges and unprecedented solutions! It is a great experience of enabling skills to be acquired and strengthened in activities aimed to reduce climate change!» «It's a way to make life better by choosing a sustainable economy and politics!» «It's an opportunity to meet experts and share knowledge about slowing down climate changes!» «If you have ideas, «Pioneer into Practice» have an opportunity to contribute to raising awareness about climate changes.» Such are assessments of participants of «Pioneer into Practice» of the previous seasons
What does the programme offer?
The programme lasts from May to November.
It offers practical workshops and online training for professionals to expand their knowledge of the impact of climate change, the systematic approach of innovation, to receive coach support for improving the search skills of problem solutions, to work in interdisciplinary teams to develop solutions for the environmental problems of Latvian companies or organisations. The programme also provides financial support for travel and accommodation allowing to participate in internship of four to six weeks at one of the leading organisations of the Member States. The internship opens up the opportunity for pioneers to come into contact with people of similar thinking from all over Europe. 
Climate change challenges and organisations in the interests of which they should be addressed can be of a wide variety. Until now, the RTU Design Factory has offered climate pioneers to address the environmental challenges of both public organisations and large local governments of Latvia. In 2017, solutions had to be sought for the problems identified by the Ecodesign Competencies Centre and «homo ecos» – how to slow down the waste flow of electrical and electronic equipment and how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in municipalities. Whereas in 2018, the problems were defined by the municipalities of Jelgava and Valmiera. Jelgava offered to find solutions for the issue of adapting to climate changes by using data of the Operational Information Centre (POIC) of Jelgava municipality, while Valmiera was interested in promoting environmentally friendly small and medium-sized enterprises.
View the 2017 solutions.
Further insight into experience of participants of “Pioneers into Practice 2018”, when having internship abroad and solving problems defined by Valmiera and Jelgava.
How to apply for the participation?
One can apply for the participation in the programme by completing an e-form on the Climate-KIC webpage.
How to become the climate pioneer?
One can apply for the participation in the programme:
  • if there is experience or/and knowledge related to environmental and climate change challenges; 
  • if there is an interest in helping to find solutions to climate change challenges and becoming part of an interdisciplinary team of professionals (at least 30-40 h should be devoted); 
  • if there is time and opportunity to participate in all phases of the programme;
  • if there is a good knowledge of English;
  • if there is openness and readiness to learn, share knowledge and invest time to participation in the programme.
What do companies and organisations obtain from their participation in «Pioneer into Practice»?

«Pioneer into Practice» is an opportunity for Latvian companies, educational establishments, scientific institutes, state and non-governmental organisations to accept for practice professionals from all over Europe and to obtain solutions and approaches that can help in their further activities. In 2018, Latvia provided practice places to foreign professionals for the first time – for more than a month, four specialists in different fields were involved in the work of the RTU Cesis Studies and Science Centre and SIA Grupa 93 planning company.
The place of practice is selected by the climate pioneer, evaluating the international offers.
Who can admit the climate pioneers?
The following may apply for admitting trainees:
  • organisations experienced or interested in climate change and/or a low-carbon economy;
  • organisations capable of providing the participant with work tasks and monitoring in their performance;
  • organisations that can host trainees in September and October;
  • organisations interested in expanding their network to create new business solutions, strengthen knowledge and competitive advantages;
  • organisations interested in understanding and learning the systematic approach of innovation;
  • organisations open and ready to learn, share knowledge, enjoy participation in the programme when assessing the win-win offer.  

«Journey» Summer School

  • «Journey» is the largest summer school in climate innovation and business, bringing together students from all over the world.
  • Over a period of three to five weeks, the summer school participants are given the opportunity to visit three European countries, acquire intercultural experience, obtain knowledge of climate change and acquire the skills needed for entrepreneurship in order to create eco-friendly business ideas and present them in the closing week when working in international interdisciplinary teams.
  • There are eight summer schools held simultaneously, involving 18 European cities, more than 20 international coaches and 100 cooperation partners.
  • The summer school is held in July.
  • One can apply for the participation on the «Journey» webpage.

«Young Innovators» programme for the youth

  • The target audience for the programme are young people aged 12 to 18.
  • The programme offers to boost youth entrepreneurship and social skills related to tackling climate change and environmental challenges, gaining new knowledge, developing systemic thinking and, in cooperation with municipalities, enterprises and non-governmental organisations, influencing local community interest and youth growth-oriented decision-making. Participation in the programme raises awareness among pupils of responsible consumption, the circular economy, climate technologies, low-carbon lifestyles and active civic behaviour.
  • The programme is implemented by the «EIT Climate-KIC Hub» innovation and cooperation contact point of the RTU Design Factory in cooperation with the «Latvijas Mazpulki» youth organisation and leading researcher of the University of Latvia Gunta Kalvāne.
  • «Young Innovators» is the «EIT Climate-KIC» programme of the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This year, a total of around 10 thousand European students are expected to be involved in it. The Latvian programme is unique and is implemented as a pilot project, offering the Young Innovators programme as an out-of-school activity. In other European countries, these activities are implemented by integrating them into the school curriculum. Workshops for teachers could also be organised in Latvia, encouraging them to make more use of systemic thinking and system innovation.
  • More information can be found at
  • Guide for teachers and other educators
  • Experience stories and materials