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11 February, 2020 - 17:34 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge to host international robotics and AI conference

A leading international conference in the field of robotics and AI has chosen Cambridge to host its 2020 event.

Helped by Meet Cambridge, the official venue-finding service for space at The University of Cambridge and the Cambridge colleges, Human Robot Interaction 2020 (HRI2020) is bringing approximately 650 delegates from across the world to the city from March 23-26. 

The three-day event will be held at three venues: Fitzwilliam College, The Guildhall and The Corn Exchange, with several colleges jointly hosting the official conference dinner.

Professor Tony Belpaeme, Professor of Robotics at both Ghent University, Belgium and the University of Plymouth, UK and general chair of the organising committee,  said Cambridge won at the bid stage because of the city’s outstanding global brand and setting for key moments in science, its excellent transport links and the strong appeal to international delegates.  

He said: “The draw of Cambridge has already seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of papers submitted compared to last year and we are anticipating attendance by more than 650 people from across the US, Asia and Europe. 

“This popularity enhances the conference’s pole position as the flagship event in its field, at which delegates can hear ground-breaking presentations, participate in interactive workshops and view poster exhibitions.

“Perhaps the most important factor of all is the opportunity for scientists working in this field to meet each other, to discuss future collaborations and research projects and to talk to potential scientists to join their teams. This means that the benefits of the conference last long after the three-day meeting.”

Judith Sloane, deputy manager at Meet Cambridge added: “We were first approached by Professor Belpaeme in 2017 with a request for venue-finding help and assistance with material for the bid process.

“Three site visits for members of the organising committee were arranged and, once the venues were selected, we helped to coordinate contracts and supplied local information on transport, attractions and relevant networks. 

“We also identified and secured the services of a professional conference organiser, Rose Padmore from Opening Doors & Venues who is handling all the logistics for the event.

“This is a perfect example of how, as the official venue-finding service, Meet Cambridge was able to draw on its well-established network to provide the organisers with all the information they needed to win the bid and bring the event to Cambridge.

“This success not only delivers economic benefits for the city but also huge opportunities for fresh collaborations, new talent and knowledge exchange.”

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