The city of Bordeaux has officially been chosen to host the RoboCup 2020. Organising the robot world cup could generate over seven million euros in economic benefits for the French city.
The International RoboCup Committee announced on 18 June that Bordeaux would be hosting the largest robotics and artificial intelligence competition in the world from 23 – 29 June 2020. The RoboCup will bring together 450 teams and 3,500 participants from 45 countries, and more than 40,000 expected visitors, according to French daily Sud Ouest. 5,000 robots will square off in various different events including football, emergency rescue, industry logistics and even helping humans. The great and the good of Bordeaux have been quick to welcome this news, including mayor Alain Juppé.
Bordeaux crowned world champions in 2016 and 2017
The stand-out performances from the team in Bordeaux, who won the Humanoid Football League world championships in 2016 and 2017, persuaded the local robotics industry as well as the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and City of Bordeaux to apply to host the RoboCup in 2020.
This ambitious project was also supported by the French Robotics Federation, the University of Bordeaux, the Aquitaine Robotics hub, Bordeaux Polytechnic and the Bordeaux education board.
At least 7 million euros of economic gains for the city
Hosting the RoboCup will cost almost 2 million euros but should generate significant revenue for the hotels and restaurants in Bordeaux, with future gains estimated at between 7 – 15 million euros.
"The city of Bordeaux is incredibly proud of becoming the world capital of robots and artificial intelligence in 2020!" said Mayor Juppé. "We are aware of the enormous potential of this event for France and for our area, in particular as far as young people are concerned."
It is also an excellent opportunity for the sector in the local region, most notably the Aquitaine Robotics hub which already includes around 100 companies. The region is a pioneer in France in the field of cobotics – the design of collaborative robots which help employees move heavy objects in the logistics and industry sectors.
Strategic showcase for the region
"The (current) challenge for robotics is to get out of the laboratories and fully develop its potential in all the various sectors," Manuel Tunon de Lara, chairman of the University of Bordeaux, said to Sud Ouest newspaper, and Alain Rousset, chairman of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, has declared that they will be up to the task.
"Robotics, which covers research and innovation via IT, mechatronics, man-machine interaction and artificial intelligence, is part of the priorities that the region will be focusing on to promote local economic development," the politician said.
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