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Successful Conclusion of 2018 World Robot Conference: Appreciating 2018, Embracing 2019

2018 World Robot Conference (WRC) was brought to a successful conclusion at Beijing Etrong International Exhibition & Convention Center on August 19, 2018. The closing ceremony was attended by leaders and guests, including: Yin Hejun, CPC Committee Standing Member and Vice Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government; Xin Guobin, Leading Party Group Member and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT); Song Jun, Leading Party Group Member and Secretary of Secretariat of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST); and Lu Xin, Former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Chairman of the 2018 WRC Advisory Committee, among others.

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The closing ceremony was chaired by Xu Xiaolan, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE) and Secretary General of WRC.

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In his speech, Song Jun from CAST said that the innovation and development of the robotics sector plays a major role in the ongoing technological and industrial transformation. The robotics sector has been a technology frontier that features the most innovations, greatest spin-off effect and fastest development. In this context, CAST has provided ongoing support to the “World Series” of international brand exchanges, such as WRC, in recent years, as a way to boost the in-depth integration between technology and economy, technology and society, and technology and culture. Guided by national strategies of China, CAST is synergizing all sectors to build an open, integrated, shared and win-win platform for international exchanges, enabling co-innovation between the technology and business communities. Song also called on the participants to embrace the smart future and come together again at the next year’s WRC.

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In the past five days, the experts, academics and elite entrepreneurs present have had productive discussions across various brilliant academic exchanges, under the theme of “joining efforts to create new intelligent drivers and embrace a new era”, Xin Guobin said in his speech. Beyond that, by exchanging views, those experts, academics and leading entrepreneurs have reached important consensus on major issues like international cooperation opportunities, basic technology and innovation, and AI integration.

The event was supported by 21 international organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and World Federation of Engineering Organizations, to name just a few. More than 300 top experts and leading entrepreneurs from the robotics sector addressed the 3-day main forum and over 20 feature forums, sharing cutting-edge technological achievements. This is how the event promoted cooperation and exchanges in the global robot community. Under nine themes, the four exhibition areas showcased over 500 exhibits of 166 enterprises from more than 15 countries, including traditional industrial robots, service robots, special robots and a range of sophisticated basic parts. Alongside that, the 30-odd contests, which fell into five categories, were attended by more than 10,000 teams and 50,000 contestants from over a dozen of countries, as well as several hundred of top experts from nearly 20 countries and regions, including the US, Germany and Japan.

2018 WRC was covered by 355 media outlets in China and beyond, such as CCTV, People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, Guangming Daily, Economic Daily, Tokyo FM, VGTRK, Bloomberg News, Reuters and Associated Press. Totally, the event welcomed 282,000 visitors and over 14.7 million online viewers. The cooperative contracts concluded in the course of the event reached a record high of RMB 8.9 billion. Also, the event witnessed the announcement of a range of major research achievements like Report on the Development of China’s Robot Industry 2018, Outlook on 10 Most Promising New-generation AI Technologies (2018-2019) and Top 10 Emerging Robot Applications (2018-2019).

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Intelligent robots are enjoying access to socio-economic development across the board, in ways that help improve and facilitate people’s lives, Yin Hejun said in his speech. Beijing will work with MIIT and CAST to bring into play WRC’s roles as a host, platform and pioneer, and to foster a favorable industrial environment and innovation eco-system that helps speed up the development of technology and innovation in the intelligent robot community. Yin sincerely hoped that countries could partner with each other to seize the opportunities the innovation-driven development of the robot industry brings, scale up technological and industrial cooperation and exchanges, and develop a global robot innovation ecosystem featuring openness, sharing and collaboration. Furthermore, he encouraged the participants to be pioneers and innovators that look to develop WRC into an ever-lasting world-class feast and embrace a better future of the robotics sector.

Top 10 Emerging Robot Applications (2018-2019), which was formally released at the closing ceremony, lists 10 most promising robot application scenarios. These scenarios include: logistics & warehousing, consumer product manufacturing, surgery & rehabilitation, delivery to buildings and households, intelligent caregiving & emotional interaction, complicated environment and special object cleaning, urban emergency security, film and television production, energy & mining, and national defense & military affairs. The WRC Expert Panel selected these application scenarios by systemizing detailed data from world-renowned advisory bodies and authoritative industry associations in alignment with recent developments and growth rules of robot technology. As an iconic achievement of 2018 WRC, the document will be a trend-setter guiding the growth of leading-edge technology in and the healthy development of the robotics sector. Also at the closing ceremony, the “Most Creative Product” and “Most Popular Exhibit” awards, coupled with the prizes of 2018 WRC’s contests, were presented to the winners.

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The WRC has been held for four consecutive years. This success has enabled WRC to be the platform with the highest level and the largest scale in the global robot community. This international, professional and popular event has grown into an annual thought-provoking feast that sets trends of policy making, leading-edge technology, industrial developments and application paradigms across the globe. Lasting for five days, 2018 WRC has showcased the latest developments of the global robot industry by bringing together state-of-the-art technologies. In the course of the event, elite professionals worldwide shared the prospect of the robot sector across frank, productive discussions. The success of this session will surely enable the global robot industry to accelerate its development. The closing of the event does not mean an end. We hope that we could meet each other again at 2019 WRC, in Beijing in the next fall, as the next session is well positioned to carry more splendidness and expectations.

Source: CIE