December 2017 From the IFAC President

Looking ahead to IFAC 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Only six months after the last IFAC World Con-
gress in Toulouse, we are already planning not
only the World Congress 2020 in Berlin and the
World Congress 2023 in Yokohama but also the
World Congress 2026 in – well, this still needs
to be determined. All 49 IFAC National Member
Organizations (NMOs) are invited to submit their
bids until March 2018 applying to host the 23rd
IFAC World Congress in their country.

The  selection  process  for  the  World  Congress
Sites starts rather early, since this is an impor-
tant  decision  for  IFAC.  Some  reasons  for  this
might  be  obvious:  The  World  Congress  is  the
largest event of this kind with a rich history and
a  defining  influence  on  the  field  of  automatic
control. Therefore, the organizing teams need to
have ample time for the planning and prepara-
tions.  It  is  our  goal  that  all  delegates  take  the
most out of the World Congress, personally and

There is also a second reason why this decision
is of major importance: IFAC is not only selecting
a congress site but also a future IFAC president.
Every country that applies to host the IFAC World
Congress also presents a presidential candidate
for the triennium 2023-2026.  This tradition, to
link  the  IFAC  president  and  IFAC  World  Con-
gress, goes back as far as the first IFAC World
Congress in Moscow 1960 with the second IFAC
president  from  the  USSR,  Alexander  M.  Letov,
serving from 1959-1961.

Since the selection of the World Congress Site is
such an important decision for IFAC, this deci-
sion is taken in a two-step process. The coun-
cil  takes  its  first  decision  at  the  yearly  council
meeting  in  2018,  reducing  the  number  of  can-
didates to only two or three. These two or three
NMOs will then have the opportunity to present
their bids at the IFAC Council Meeting in 2019,
where the final decision is taken. This is still way
too early for you to plan your trip to the World
Congress  2026,  but  the  organization  of  such
an event indeed needs a lot of preparation time
and  the  prospective  presidential  candidate  will
already  be  serving  as  president-elect  starting
from 2020.

I am looking forward to all World Congress ap-
plications and I am curious where I will travel in
2026 – I hope you are, too.

Wishing you and your loved ones a festive holi-
day season and all the best for a happy, healthy
and successful year 2018,

Frank Allgöwer