ERF2014 Event overview
“City of Robots” was the motto of the 5th European Robotics Forum (ERF) in Rovereto, 12 ‐ 14 March 2014, attracting more than 480 participants from the European robotics community. Researchers, engineers, managers, and a growing number of entrepreneurs and business people from all over Europe came together to discuss topics and contents having an immediate impact on the roadmapping process for Robotics in Europe.
First Forum on Robotics under new Public-Private Partnership with European Commission
Brussels – The small Northern Italian town of Rovereto, located beautifully in the Adige valley of the Trentino Region, became for a few days the capital of European robotics, dominated by the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2014. A record number of 485 experts from academia, industry, politics and business, met between 12 and 14 March to showcase the latest robotic systems and to discuss applications of robots and current research developments. This year’s Forum which was given the motto “City of Robots”, was the fifth edition in a row since the first one in San Sebastian in 2010. It made clear in various workshops, exhibitions, and open discussions, what enormous potential for robotics lies within the European economy.
In their opening speeches, both Khalil Rouhana, the Director responsible for the robotics programme in the European Commission’s DG CONNECT, and Bernd Liepert, President of euRobotics AISBL, the association which is the organiser of the annual fora, pointed out that the robotics sector can look back on a rapid development in recent years. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on Robotics which was set up a few months ago, aiming at real applications in industry and services, however, will accelerate this process significantly within Europe in the coming years.
euRobotics aisbl (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif) is a Brussels based international non-profit association for all stakeholders in European robotics. euRobotics aims to promote excellence in robotics by providing many networking opportunities to its members from both industry and academia, to exchange knowledge within the robotics community and to shape the future of robotics in Europe through cooperation between both sides.
One of the association’s main missions is to collaborate with the European Commission (EC) to develop and implement a strategy and a roadmap for research, technological development and innovation in robotics, in view of the launch of the next framework program Horizon 2020. Towards this end, euRobotics aisbl was formed to engage from the private side in a contractual Public-Private Partnership with the European Union as the public side.
If you are:
– working in basic research, applied research, or in a company using robots, or producing robots or any robotics technologies including autonomous and cognitive systems which are considered for transportation, health, and many other applications;
– a public or private investor in robotics R&D, or considering expanding your existing range of products and services into robotics;
– a stakeholder in regional, national, or European investments, technology transfer, to support strategic decisions in favour of the enormous economic potential for robotics expected within the next 10 years, you should definitely consider to attend the major annual robotics networking event organised by euRobotics AISBL, in 2014 to be held in Rovereto, Italy.
The University of Verona is dedicated to innovation and to maintaining the high quality of its teaching and research. The institution has 23,000 students, and 1,500 teaching and non-teaching staff all dedicated to a continual process of growth and to the development of human, structural and financial resources. The University is divided into 15 departments and the faculty of Medicine and Surgery, offering a total of 60 degree courses, 7 graduate schools, 26 master’s courses, 40 specialisation schools and 16 masterclasses. The University has strong links to the local community and looks to the future through its constant strengthening of the link between courses offered and the world of work. In the immediate future, one of the University’s principle objectives is to continue with its building programme in order to create an improved and welcoming environment.
The Altair robotic laboratory of the University of Verona is active in service and medical robotics, having being part and/or coordinating many Italian and nine European research projects from FP5, FP6 and FP7 framework programs. The laboratory currently hosts PhD students and postdocs doing research on surgical, rehabilitation robotics, together with their control, software engineering, and educational aspects.
The Rovereto Civic Museum Foundation consists of a Department of Archaeology, a Department of Fine Arts and a Department of Natural Sciences. The most recent departments are those of Astronomy and Robotics (New Technologies).
Besides conserving its naturalistic and archaeological collections, the institution also collects historical and environmental data, which is all computerised and geo-referenced in data banks (like the Floristic Cartography of Trentino) and provides detailed knowledge of the region. These data are available – partly on-line – to researchers, technicians and to all public institutions involved in environmental management and assessment.
Twice a year the Rovereto Civic Museum Foundation organises events that cater for a wider audience. These include First Lego League Italia (a science and robotics competition), ‘Discovery on Film’ (a science festival which largely looks at new technologies applied to natural sciences and to cultural heritage preservation, with documentaries, meetings, experiments, exhibits workshops and competitions) and the International Festival of Archaeological Film.
The Rovereto Civic Museum Foundation has a very active Educational Department. Every year over 10,000 students attend its classes and laboratories, which are held both indoors and outdoors. The Rovereto Civic Museum offers educational activities aimed at primary and secondary schools and universities, and is a recognised teacher training centre, especially for robotics. The museum lab offers courses for teachers on archaeology, natural sciences and new technologies.