February 2021 From the IFAC President

Event plans changed

Dear IFAC Friends and Colleagues,

The Covid-19 pandemic brought on adaptations and changes to previously made plans, even plans that had been made years in advance, in all of our personal and professional lives. IFAC activities have also been affected by the pandemic, with adaptations made to many long-standing plans.

Vaccination has started in many countries, but at this time there are still many unknowns. This is a challenging situation for organizers and participants of technical events, many of which were planned and scheduled before the pandemic. Some IFAC technical events have already changed to hybrid or all-virtual formats for 2021, while others have postponed from planned dates in 2021 until 2022. Still there are other events which are waiting to see how the pandemic situation unfolds as 2021 progresses, as travel and in-person events may become more possible as the year progresses. Six events have been postponed to 2022 (MATHMOD, PDES, ROCOND, SAFEPROCESS, CPES, and SYROCO), and currently it is planned that there will be 17 IFAC main-sponsored events in 2021.

The IFAC Events Calendar https://www.ifac-control.org/events/@@events_view on the IFAC webpage is constantly updated as new information becomes available in the Secretariat (events approved, dates changed, etc.) so check back often for the latest status!

Usually the IFAC community would gather yearly in an IFAC NMO country for the IFAC Council and Related Meetings. In 2020 this had to be done remotely, in conjunction with the IFAC World Congress which also had to transition to a virtual event, despite years of planning and preparation for an in-person gathering. For 2021 the IFAC Council voted that the meetings will also be held virtually, as at this time there are too many unknowns for well into 2021 to be able to plan an in-person gathering of international participants. It is hoped that IFAC can return to in-person annual meetings again in 2022.

For the time being: Follow the public health and hygiene protocols for your country/region, wash your hands, look out for your health and well-being, and stay positive that we will be able to gather together in-person again sooner rather than later!

Hajime Asama, IFAC President 2020-2023