April 2011

European Robotics Forum in Västeras - Largest gathering of European robotics experts

The three day Forum, 6-8 April 2011 at the Aros Congress Center in Västeras, Sweden superseded everyones expectations. Over 340 roboticists from 26 countries gathered to meet, discuss, exchange ideas, and network.  “At the EURON / EUROP Annual Meeting last year in San Sebastian, we had more than 230 participants.  This year, the overwehlming participation of the robotics community at the Forum indicates that we are on the right track”, mentioned Rainer Bischoff the EUROP Coordinator.  

Building on last year’s theme of “closing the gap between industry and academia”, the focus this year was "Enabling innovation: from research to products".  The structure of the Forum was the same as in the previous year: three days dedicated to robotics starting with the industry driven EUROP, its members assembly and workshops on the first day.  The second day was organised jointly by both EUROP and EURON, and the third day was organised by EURON. Altogether, 43 workshops were offered this year plus an exhibition of robots and robotics projects.  The presence of the members of the European Commission, their feedback and interaction with the participants were particularly encouraging for the robotics community as a whole.

The second day of the event was signified by a press conference in the morning followed by a tour of the robotics exhibition.    

The participation of Khalil Rouhana, the new Director of DG Information Society and Media, was one of the special highlights of the event.  In a special session on the second day of the Forum, Khalil Rouhana provided important information about the 8th Framework Programme currently in preparation.  He particularly emphasized the importance of input from the robotics industry regarding FP8 which upholds the significance of the European robotics industry in the eye of the Commission.


Another highlight was the euRobotics Technology Transfer Session on April 7th.  Five finalists presented their work followed by a question and answer period.  “The finalists this year truly represent robotics applications within a wide range of various fields.  We have never had such richness of so many different fields represented in the Tech. Transfer Award”, stated Martin Haegele, the Coordinator of the Award and the Head of Robotics at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart.

Robotdalen was the host of the European Robotics Forum in Västeras, Sweden which did a superb job of hosting and organising the event. The get-together dinner on 7 April provided everyone with the opportunity to discuss the results of the past two days in a much relaxed atmosphere. The local Swedish band added an exceptional cultural flair to the gathering of the last evening. The winners of the euRobotics Tech Transfer Award and the PhD Award were also announced during dinner that night.


Rainer Bischoff (EUROP Coordinator) along with Herman Bruyninckx (EURON Coordinator) thanked Robotdalen for all the work and effort put into this event.  They also jointly announced the host for the next European Robotics Forum in 2012:  the Danish Technological Institute in Odense, Denmark.


To download any of the presentations at the Forum please refer to the euRobotics website.


The European Robotics Forum is made possible through the support of euRobotics Coordination Action funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.    


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