December 2020 From the IFAC President

IFAC Conference App

Dear IFAC Friends and colleagues,

I am happy to announce that IFAC is offering an additional service to the control community: the IFAC App for technical Events. This new state of the art App will enhance the participation experience at IFAC events and is offered for free both for attendees and event organizers.

After studying several options, IFAC has selected Conference Compass, a company based in the Netherlands, as this service provider. See for detailed information about the Conference Compass solutions. A contract has been signed that allows IFAC to support this service and cover the cost on behalf of Events organizers. Use of the IFAC App is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. It is our hope that many events will choose to utilize the IFAC App, adding new features facilitating and enhancing the interactions during IFAC Events. Not only does the IFAC App offer easily readable display of floorplans, exhibition and sponsor information, the program and abstracts, but it benefits from full IFAC-SMS (submission management system) integration for easy access to documents such as paper preprints, posters and others.

The IFAC App, which operates both on mobile devices and on any computer via web browsers, can replace paper versions of the events booklets and USB-disks. More than that, the IFAC App allows individuals to interact: push messages, private messages, appointments, networking, answering polls, rate sessions, enter chat rooms, all of which may be continued among IFAC App users after the event, and repeated at the next IFAC meeting. Extensions of the IFAC App (costs not covered by IFAC) allow hybrid on-site and online experiences. I look forward to receiving your feedback about your IFAC App experience in the forthcoming IFAC events, hoping it shall be positive.

Speaking of experiences: 2020 has been full of challenges and scenarios that none of us could have ever anticipated or wished for. Due to the pandemic the IFAC World Congress was held virtually for the first time ever in IFAC’s storied history (instead of in-person in Berlin, Germany) as originally planned over many years, as well as many other events that were originally organized to be held in-person. I am grateful for our international community of NMOs and affiliates all over the globe who have pulled together during this time of the pandemic, even in a time when meeting together in-person has not been possible. Many thanks to the many volunteers who have made IFAC activities possible, despite the many challenges people are currently facing in their personal and professional lives. It is my hope that someday soon we will be able to gather again in person for IFAC technical events, meetings, seeing friends and colleagues old and new, and enjoying new adventures together!

Sending you and your loved ones my best wishes for health, peace, and joy during the upcoming festive season and the New Year 2021,

Hajime Asama,
IFAC President 2020-2023