Science-Congress at Lake Zurich

What is the ideal location for an event centre? It should be central, perfectly connected to public transport and the airport - and beautifully located. Does that exist? Yes of course: the Zurich Convention Center scores points at home and abroad with its sensational location directly on the lake, which also complements the space offered by the local universities.

An extraordinary event almost took place at the Zurich Convention Center in spring 2021: The Joint Robotics Congress (JRC) was planned, which would have concentrated several international robotics conferences that normally take place throughout the year on site. Keynotes, coffee breaks, selected workshops and social events could have taken place across all conferences, otherwise the individual conferences would have been organised independently. The goal of this super congress? To reduce the amount of travel for participants of different conferences and to enable interdisciplinary knowledge transfer between communities.

The Zurich Convention Center with its innovative technical possibilities would have been the ideal location for such a novel format. The diverse and variable spaces and the hospitable crew at the congress center would have hosted meetings for the individual communities as well as joint, cross-community events. Would have, would have, would have: Today we know that everything turned out differently.

Mr. Marco Hutter, ETH professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and co-organiser of the first JRC, tells us about his research interests, which he would have presented at the Joint Robotics Congress: "My research deals with the development of new machines and their intelligence in order to be able to work in the most difficult environments. We are realising walking robots and mobile packaging systems, developing algorithms to control these robots, teaching them to learn on their own, and integrating cameras and laser sensors so they can work autonomously."

«The overall package of location, infrastructure and service is, in my view, unique for such a conference.»

Marco Hutter, ETH-Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Autonomous learning robots at the Zurich Convention Center? Not yet. The 35-year-old professor also regrets the cancellation of the congress. "Only the overall package of location, infrastructure and service that the venue offers allowed us as organisers to be able to direct the individual conferences to this main congress in the first place. The Zurich Convention Center has a unique location on the lake and in the city."

The keynotes would have taken place in the wonderful ambience of the Tonhalle, and parallel events were also planned at the ETH. The plan seemed perfect - just ahead of its time. But who knows: postponed is not cancelled. Whether it's a Joint Science Conference with cross-community interaction or another trendsetting event format, the Zurich Convention Center with its numerous technical and spatial variations offers an innovative and accessible roof for scientific, economic or cultural events of all kinds.



Name: Marco Hutter
Function: ETH-Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Expertise: Development of new machines that can work in the most difficult environments, such as mines or offshore installations.
Likes about his work: The untapped potential of being able to take dirty and dangerous jobs off people's hands.


Zurich, the science hotspot:

The city of Zurich is booming as an excellently networked knowledge location. Several factors promote this development:
  • The two universities ETH and the University of Zurich are institutions of world renown. Their main buildings are within walking distance and within sight of the Zurich Convention Center on the Zürichberg.
  • Numerous spin-offs, especially in the tech sector, drive research, innovation and development in and around Zurich.
  • The city of Zurich has a wide range of universities of applied sciences and international bilingual schools. This also makes it attractive for international professionals and academic employees.
  • For graduates in particular, Zurich offers many opportunities for starting a career with numerous international tech and life science companies, the university hospital, etc. The city also has a wide range of cultural and leisure activities.
  • The mix of cultural offerings, local recreational areas and extremely centrally located places to work or study is unique.
  • Zurich - and therefore also the Zurich Convention Center - is ideally accessible by transport from all over Switzerland as well as from near and far abroad.

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