London wins bid to host world-leading robotics and AI conference

Business Conventions

London wins bid to host world-leading robotics and AI conference: ExCeL-3

11 July 2019

London has been selected ahead of other European cities to host IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's (RAS) flagship International Conference on Robotics and Automations (IRCA) in 2023. 

The UK capital will welcome over 4,000 of the world’s top experts and researchers in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics for a four-day conference to be held at ExCeL London between 29th May and 2nd June 2023.

ICRA will be the first major international robotics and automation congress to be hosted in the UK and is expected to bring over £13m economic benefit to London.

In a highly competitive bidding process, London was chosen ahead of other shortlisted cities, Vienna and Copenhagen. The city’s bid was fronted by Professor Kaspar Althoefer from Queen Mary University of London with the support of the London Convention Bureau, ExCeL London and MCI UK.

Additional backing for the congress was gathered from across the public and private sector with an impressive line-up of supporters including: The Mayor of London, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kings College London, Imperial College London, University College London, Queen Mary University of London, The Alan Turing Institute, Cognition X, as well as some of London’s top AI and robotics companies such as DeepMind and Shadow Robot.

The wide-ranging programme will see delegates take part in interactive workshops, tutorials and networking events hosted at some of London’s most iconic venues. The congress programme will also feature outreach activities including a robot competition between schools in England aimed at children aged 7 to 12 years old to raise enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

London has emerged as leader in hosting some of the world’s biggest tech events and conferences with the recent London Tech Week attracting over 55,000 delegates and 300 events across the city.

This year the UK capital will also host the financial services and fintech conference SIBOS in September 2019, as well as corporate events for globally recognised technology brands such as Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle and the largest Google Cloud event in Europe, Google Cloud NEXT.

Suzanne Singleton, Head of Associations at London Convention Bureau said: “London is a global hub for innovation and technology and its great news for the city that ICRA has decided to bring its flagship automation and robotics conference to London in 2023. We look forward to welcoming some of the best experts and researchers to London and hope they will enjoy all the great venues and experiences our city has to offer.”

“Our world class universities, research facilities, and a highly skilled talent pool have helped Britain to become the European capital of Artificial Intelligence, making London a natural choice to host such a prestigious AI and robotics congress.”

Professor Kaspar Althoefer from Queen Mary University of London and project lead for London’s bid added: "We are delighted to have won the bid to bring the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) to London in 2023. Undoubtedly a massive boost for UK Robotics, considering that this is the first time ever that a major international robotics conference will come to the country."

Andrew Swanston, Head of Sales for Conferences and Events at ExCeL London commented: “We are delighted that ICRA have chosen ExCeL for their 2023 event. As London’s leading events venue, we are continually looking to the future and the trends that will shape our industry. We recognise that technology does and will continue to play an increasingly important role in delivering world class events. ICRA will provide a fascinating insight into the role of AI and Robotics, and we are excited to see what we can learn from the content. We look forward to working with IEEE to create a truly memorable experience for their delegates.”

Barbara Calderwood, MCI’s Divisional Lead at MCI UK commented: “We are delighted to support Congress Chair Professor Kaspar Althoefer, the Local Organising Committee and the Scientific Programme Committee who have worked so hard to secure such an important Congress for London. We appreciate the importance of ICRA for its inward investment potential, jobs creation and its role in building the UK’s future prosperity. We are very much looking forward to providing all the logistical requirements of this highly complex Meeting to ensure ICRA is the Robotics and Automation Showcase of the World in London in 2023.”

Notes to editors

Supporting data on Artificial Intelligence

  • Venture capital investment into the UK’s fast-growing Artificial Intelligence sector leapt almost six-fold from 2014 to 2018 (Source: Tech Nation 2019)
  • London is home to 758 AI companies – double the total of Paris and Berlin combined. They specialise in more than 30 industries with particular strengths in insurance, finance and law. Some 645 of these companies have a headquarters in the capital (Source: London: The AI Growth Capital of Europe, CognitionX 2018)
  • 13 universities in the capital offer AI, machine learning and related undergraduate and postgraduate degrees a crucial component of London’s growing AI cluster and acts as an important engine for growth. (Source: London: The AI Growth Capital of Europe, CognitionX 2018)
  • The Alan Turing Institute, since 2017, has hosted over 300 researchers and produced 138 different research publications (Source: London: The AI Growth Capital of Europe, CognitionX 2018)
  • Imperial College London employs over 600 staff working on AI projects across the college
  • UCL announced plans to open a purpose-designed AI R&D centre last year, housing up to 200 researchers

About the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's objectives are scientific, literary and educational in character. The Society strives for the advancement of the theory and practice of robotics and automation engineering and science and of the allied arts and sciences, and for the maintenance of high professional standards among its members, all in consonance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the IEEE and with special attention to such aims within the Field of Interest of the Society.

RAS strives to advance innovation, education, and fundamental and applied research in robotics and automation. Robotics focuses on systems incorporating sensors and actuators that operate autonomously or semi-autonomously in cooperation with humans. Robotics research emphasizes intelligence and adaptability to cope with unstructured environments. Automation research emphasizes efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability, focusing on systems that operate autonomously, often in structured environments over extended periods, and on the explicit structuring of such environments.

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About the International Conference on Robotics and Automation

The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and the premier international forum for robotics researchers to present and discuss their work. Established in 1984 and held annually, the conference joins experts in the field of robotics and automation for technical communications through presentations and discussions. The conference creates a remarkable environment to indulge all the delegates in the frontier of science and technology in robotics and automation.

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About London Convention Bureau
London & Partners is the official convention bureau for London. As part of the Mayor of London's promotional company, our team can help you access the widest range of London event space, unusual conference venues, business hotels and event planning available in this top congress destination. 


Ben Pattie - Head of PR

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