The euRobotics community gains strength from the diversity of expertise and backgrounds of its members. A Doctor of Anaesthesiology at the University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen University, Mare Mechelinck brings an end-user perspective from the healthcare sector to her role as a Member of the euRobotics Board of Directors, to which she was elected in June. Here, Mare gives a personal reflection after her first few months on the Board.

Looking back on almost six months on the Board of Directors, the time has flown by. I can say quite clearly that the Board has welcomed me very warmly and openly. After a somewhat quieter summer phase due to holidays, activities have now picked up speed. In regular board meetings, current topics, critical aspects and, so to speak, the future direction of euRobotics are discussed. It feels like the time in the board meetings is always too short, even if the meetings are sometimes scheduled for several hours.

In general, there is a positive discussion culture in the meetings and an excellent and productive cooperation. Mostly, very promising, and future-oriented topics are discussed. At the moment, for example, there might be the possibility of integrating more end-users into the euRobotics network in the near future. As an end-user, I am of course particularly excited about this. In my opinion, this is an excellent opportunity both for the existing euRobotics members and for potential new members. Therefore, we are currently considering a proposal on how this could be realised with the greatest possible benefit for all parties. After all, such initiatives have to be well planned, and we must also consider the anticipated effort from the euRobotics Office team, which keeps the association operational. Looking behind the scenes, I can see how motivated and hard the colleagues in the office are already working to keep the association on track. The workload is certainly already borderline high for the current team size. So we have to think of creative but at the same time realistic solutions. However, I am sure that we will find these!

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the people actively involved in euRobotics. This especially includes the president Bernd Liepert, the Executive Team, my colleagues on the Board, the Secretary General Reinhard Lafrenz, the entire Office team including the external support, the Topic Group coordinators, the National Coordinators of the European Robotics Week, and those responsible for the European Robotics Forum (ERF) and the European Robotics League (ERL). It is only through your tireless and largely voluntary efforts that euRobotics has developed so exceptionally well in the past. Many, many thanks! 

Looking ahead, I am excited about the European Robotics Week that will take place from 18-27 November. Let’s make it a successful event together!