21st IFAC World Congress in Berlin, Germany, July 12-17, 2020

Important Message from the President and the General Chair

Dear IFAC World Congress 2020 community,
dear friends and colleagues worldwide,

We all are facing a tremendous challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and we are experiencing serious impacts on all our private and professional lives. The IFAC 2020 organizing team very much hopes that you and your loved ones are well and that it stays this way. This is our most important wish and concern at the moment!

Amid this dynamically evolving situation the IFAC 2020 organizers are continuously monitoring the developments and working on measures for impact mitigation on the 21st IFAC World Congress.

The top priority of our actions is the health and safety of our participants and volunteers. Moreover we want to preserve the big efforts and investments made by our community, for example by contributing the record number of 4330 submissions, successfully accomplishing a thorough review process with 12928 reviews, but also the financial and organizational efforts made by the IFAC 2020 organizers.

After so much effort from all sides, we are not willing to give up and cancel the congress. However, a “normal” congress as originally planned, also seems unlikely. This is why we are exploring various alternative options since a number of weeks. These options span from holding a hybrid meeting (with some participants attending and presenting in person and others participating and presenting remotely), a pure virtual meeting, or a shift of the congress to a later time.

In any case, whatever format IFAC 2020 will have, all authors can be assured that all accepted and registered papers will be published in 2020 on IFAC-PapersOnLine as planned.

To account for the current uncertain situation we have decided to extend the deadlines for the submission of final papers and for early registration to 09 May 2020.

In addition, and especially in order to further reduce some of the uncertainties for prospective participants, IFAC 2020 has introduced a new registration option: virtual participation. The new option allows authors to virtually present and to publish their contributions without requiring personal on-site presence. In case a further in-person congress format will be provided, authors can upgrade their registration to a physical participation at any time.

Dear friends and colleagues, independent of the final format of the congress, it is our determination to make IFAC 2020 a successful flagship event for our community, preserving as much as we can of our planned special features and by introducing new ideas and formats that will make it worthwhile to participate in.

For the organizers, mitigating the tremendous financial and organizational challenges related to the changed situation is a serious problem and we heavily depend on your solidarity and continued support.  

We thank you for your kind understanding in this challenging global situation due to COVID-19 and we are looking forward to nonetheless having an interesting, stimulating and worthwhile IFAC 2020 World Congress, that will be remembered for many decades to come.

Please stay healthy!

Frank Allgöwer (IFAC President 2017-2020) & Klaus Janschek (General Chair IFAC 2020)


Automatic Control – Meeting Societal Challenges

Every three years the international automatic control community meets to exchange and discuss the newest research findings in the broad field of systems, control and automation.

With several thousand attendees from all over the world, the IFAC World Congress is the biggest and most important meeting of this kind and the Berlin Congress marks the 21st edition of this series.

For six days in 2020, Berlin will be the place where new collaborations and stimulating ideas from theory development, over academic and industrial applications, to technology development and further fields can originate, in and after the sessions. It will be the place where you meet colleagues from across the globe to have in and off-topic discussions and interactions.Berlin is a city that is ever-changing and never perfect, bursting with culture, history and creativity. In this atmosphere, the 2020 World Congress promises to be a one of a kind experience.

Looking forward to meeting you in Berlin in 2020,
Frank Allgöwer (IFAC President 2017-2020)

Berlin – Where lnnovation Meets Science and Culture

Germany's capital is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, offering a wide range of cultural and touristic attractions. Berlin is a green city, with rivers and canals, and is particularly enjoyable in summer time.

Berlin has a long tradition of science and innovation. lt is the city where Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, Max Planck, Gustav Hertz, Albert Einstein, and many others lived and worked. Berlin is among the most important and diverse regions of science within Europe. lt has the largest concentration of universities and research institutes within Germany and a student population of about 200,000. lFAC 2020 will be held in the Estrel Hotel and Congress Center situated in the Neukölln district of Berlin, which is easily accessible by public transportation. Neukölln is a rapidly evolving lively neighborhood attractive for students and artists, with uncountable cultural and culinary attractions.