science 8.3.2016 15:53

Slovenia hosts European Robotics Forum

Ljubljana, 8 March - Slovenia will host the 7th European Robotics Forum, an event starting on 21 March in Ljubljana and bringing together some 500 participants. The three-day event, to be held under the slogan Robotics for Europeans, will feature 60 workshops and 22 exhibitions on all aspects of robotics.

Ribnica, Yaskawa Electric Corporation.
Podjetje s področja z robotike in sistemov za avtomatizacijo Yaskawa Electric Corporation, katerega razvojni sedež za Evropo je v Ribnici.
Foto: Anže Malovrh/STA

The forum will revolve around topics such as robotics development in Slovenia and the Western Balkans, social robots, smart cities, autonomous robotic systems, European plans for financing robotics projects, and space robotic technologies.

Slovenia was entrusted with organising it thanks to its committed involvement in the international robotics research area, according to Uwe Haass from euRobotics,
a Brussels-based international non-profit association of all robotics stakeholders in Europe.

"Slovenia was chosen to host the ERF 2016 as a highly industrialized country able to assume a leading role in establishing a network of innovation hubs which use advantages offered by local and regional know-how and experiences from industry and research," he told the press before the event.

Marko Munih, head of the Laboratory of Robotics at Ljubljana's Faculty of Electrical Engineering, added that Slovenia was on a par with current world robotics trends. "Slovenia plays an important role in European robotics development."

"However, large investments must be made to promote domestic development. Robotization makes countries more competitive and boosts their economic growth. Without robotics, there would be no progress and many state-of-the-art inventions we use on a daily basis would not exist," he said.

Haass, on the other hand, added that this year's event will be important for strengthening relations between European countries. "As the event is taking place in Slovenia, we aim to create tighter relations with SE Europe, especially the Western Balkans," he said.

More than 500 researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs and politicians are expected at the forum. The visitors will be able to attend project meetings, business workshops, and robotics exhibitions. The forum will also award the best doctoral thesis and best technology transfer.