Government Forum


Tuesday Sep. 29, 11:30–16:00h, Hall 2


Seth Hutchinson - University of Illinois UC

Alois Knoll, Technische Universität München

Jianwei Zhang, Universität Hamburg

Government agencies have historically been the dominant source of funding for robotics research, both in universities and in industry. In recent years, as robotics technologies have begun to move beyond their traditional strongholds in industrial and manufacturing applications, government agencies have adapted their funding models, introducing new programs and providing increasing funding for interdisciplinary and international collaborations. Examples include the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) of the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Horizon 2020 (H2020) program of the European Union, and Japan’s Robot Revolution initiative. The purpose of this Government Forum is to bring together researchers and government policy makers in a continuing dialog about new funding opportunities, new possibilities for international collaborations, and lessons learned from ongoing efforts, building on the success of the Forum that was held at the 2015 ICRA. The Forum will consist of two sessions, punctuated by a lunch break. In the first session, policy makers from funding agencies in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe will discuss government funding priorities and government policy as it relates to robotics, with a particular emphasis on opportunities for interdisciplinary and international research collaborations. In the second session, researchers will discuss emerging challenges and opportunities. This will include a discussion of characteristics that can either contribute to, or impede, successful research collaborations, including discussion of the kinds of research project that are likely to succeed only when confronted by international collaborative teams. The lunch break, which will occur between the two sessions, will provide an opportunity for researchers and policy makers to interact informally, potentially raising issues to be addressed in the second session. The Forum will conclude with a panel discussion.


11:30 - Opening Remarks and Welcome

11:35 - Juha Hekkila (Europe, EC)

11:50 - Steffen Wischmann (Germany, VDI/VDE-IT)

12:05 - Lynne Parker (USA, NSF)

12:15 - David Han (USA, Dept. of Defense)

12:35 - Hyun Sub Park (Korea, Ministry Of Trade Industry & Energy)

12:50 - Tianmiao Wang (Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology)

13:05 - LUNCH

14:00 - Dario Floreano (EPFL, Switzerland)

14:15 - Tamim Asfour (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)

14:30 - Wolfram Burgard (University of Freiburg, Germany)

14:45 - Lakmal Seneviratne (Khalifa University, UAE)

15:00 - Hajime Asama (University of Tokyo, Japan)

15:15 - Gregory D. Hager (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)

15:30-16:00 - Panel Discussion