December 2019 From the IFAC President

4147 paper submissions for the 2020 World Congress

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

4147. What sounds like a book title of a Sci-
Fi-Thriller was actually the outcome of anoth-
er thrilling undertaking: it is the number of pa-
per submissions to the IFAC World Congress
in Berlin. And, as every good thriller, organ-
izing the World Congress has many moments
of  suspense,  and  receiving  these  numbers
was  certainly  a  moment  of  relieve.  Taking
also  the  submitted  proposals  into  account
pushes the number of submissions even be-
yond 4300. We are very happy that so many
colleagues and friends from all over the world
are interested in presenting their work at the
IFAC World Congress in Berlin and we can’t
wait to host you all!

Besides  the  total  count  of  submitted  pa-
pers, the stats also give us other interesting
insights  to  authors  and  keywords.  The  total
keyword count presented “Control of renew-
able  energy  resources”  as  the  most  used
keyword  (149  times),  which  fits  nicely  into
the  IFAC  2020  motto:  “Automatic  Control  –
Meeting  Societal  Challenges”.  The  highest
number of submissions is from China, closely
followed by Germany. (I would say, my dear
German friends, with the late breaking results
submission  coming  up  in  February  –  Ger-
many  should  accept  this  challenge  😊) But
more importantly, the stats show that people
from  all  around  the  world  submitted  to  the
IFAC World Congress: from A like Albania to
V  like  Vietnam  (next  time,  Zimbabwe!).  With
authors from a total of 79 countries (and this
is only considering corresponding authors) I
think we can happily conclude that the IFAC
World  Congress  2020  in  Berlin  is  indeed  a
truly global WORLD Congress. Not only the
high number of submissions from all over the
world,  but  also  the  breadth  in  topics  once
more represents what IFAC stands for: serv-
ing all those concerned with the theory and
application of automatic control and systems
engineering in the broadest sense, wherever

While these statistics and numbers are quite
interesting, the number of submissions does
of course not equal the number of contribu-
tions at the World Congress. To ensure good
quality  for  all  papers  in  all  categories  and
fields, there are now a whopping 450 Tech-
nical  Associate  Editors  and  Editors  working
on acquiring high quality reviews. Let me take
this  opportunity  to  thank  all  the  busy  bees
that work hard to make this World Congress a
success while maintaining the highest quality

However,  we  are  not  yet  at  the  end  of  this
thriller,  and  there  are  many  more  chapters
to  come.  We  are  constantly  working  on  im-
proving the social and technical program, the
competitions, and much more. The last chap-
ter, the IFAC World Congress, will be a one of
a kind experience, a big finale, and certainly
exciting up to the last minute.

Holiday greetings from Stuttgart,
Frank Allgöwer

PS: No chapter without a cliffhanger. You’re
interested in the plenary speakers at the IFAC
2020  World  Congress?  Stay  tuned  for  the
next column…