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Science and Technology Ministry & NSTDA Join Forces with Mahidol University, NCCIE, TCEB, BMA in Bringing RoboCup 2021 Competition to Thailand, Aim to Establish Thailand as ASEAN’s Robotics Leader

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The Ministry of Science and Technology, with support from Mahidol University, N.C.C. International Events Company Limited (NCCIE), the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), announces today that Thailand will host RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand in June 2021 and that it is well ready to establish Thailand as ASEAN’ s robotics & automation leader.Dr. Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Science and Technology, says, “To develop a strong and prosperous robotics industry in support of other industries, it is necessary that a sizeable number of people in our workforce have relevant knowledge and technical skills. RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand, therefore, has huge significance. As this is a mega event with a direct link to one of Thailand 4.0’s target industries, the Thai government is pleased to support it. The Ministry of Science and Technology, TCEB and all other relevant government agencies will fully support RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand. I would like to congratulate Mahidol University and N. C. C. International Events for successfully bidding for the right to organize such big international robot competition. The event will contribute to Thailand’s human-resource development with Thais expected to boost their potential and bring their innovative robots to par with international standards. The event will also bring academic knowledge from foreign robotics experts to Thailand, creating opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and experiences. Because RoboCup 2021 will be held in June, 2021, in the Thai capital, Bangkok will also be able to show to foreign participants that it has solid potential to become the region’s leading smart city. Bangkok has it all, in regards to technologies and beautiful culture. The BMA will promote RoboCup 2021 at a wide scale. PR campaigns will be conducted extensively so that youths and students can come to watch the competition. For those interested in joining the contest, be they Thai robot inventors or educational institutes, they still have time to make the best preparations to compete against
contestants from all the over the world in RoboCup 2021”.

Dr. Janekrishna Kanatharana, Executive Vice President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), says, “Robotics industry will play a crucial role in driving Thai industries in line with the Thailand 4.0 strategy. Undeniably, the demand for industrial robots has already been growing significantly in the face of labor shortage and intensifying business competitions. As entrepreneurs feel compelled to deploy robots for greater productivity and competitiveness, industrial robots have now had fastgrowing presence across various industries and so have robots in the service sector. Other factors behind  robot growth include people’s changing lifestyles, which demand more convenience and higher safety, as well as Thailand’s ongoing transition into an aged society. So far, the replacement of human workforce by robot in Thailand is still relatively low. The replacement ratio is around 10,000 persons: 50-60 robots. The RoboCup 2021 will be a boost to the development of human resources for robotics field, which supports the ARIPOLIS in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovations (EECi). ARIPOLIS is the research and innovation hub of automation systems, robotics, and smart systems. On the overall, it will increase the competitiveness of manufacturing, trading and service industries, and enhance the integration of modern trading and logistics in the way that constantly upgrades all industries’ competitiveness on a sustainable basis”.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Jackrit Suthakorn, dean of Mahidol University’s Faculty of Engineering and the chair of the organizing committee for RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand, says, “The RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand is an international academic robot competition. First launched in 1997, RoboCup aims at promoting robotics research & development. The founding ambition is to ensure a robot soccer team will be able to beat the World Cup champion by 2050 based on rules set by FIFA ( Fédération Internationale de Football Association). In pursuit of that goal, RoboCup has created several leagues that in turn build collaborative networks for the exchanges of academic robotics knowledge among educational and research institutes across the world. Through these networks, interest in RoboCup has been fast expanded and so have related researches. Every year, the challenges in RoboCup have been adjusted to best suit the real-life environment or real-usage conditions. The number of RoboCup contestants has always been on the rise too, with the competition now attracting more than 3,000 participants from 45 countries each year. RoboCup has two main categories. One is known as RoboCup Junior League, which is for contestants aged no more than 19 years.
The other, RoboCup Major League, is for contestants aged 19 years old up”.

“The RoboCup Federation has chosen Thailand as the host of RoboCup 2021 because of the country’s solid potential. Thailand is well-experienced as it already organizedRoboCup Asia-Pacific 2017. Held last December, the event drew in more than 1,500 contestants from 14 nations across the world. RoboCup Asia-Pacific 2017, moreover, received serious support and facilitations from government agencies. Thailand has also been a regular participant in the RoboCup competitions, winning several awards from the RoboCup Federation. The honor of hosting RoboCup 2021 will upgrade Thailand’s image as the ASEAN’s robotics and automation leader. This international robot contest will also present good opportunities for Thailand to study more knowledge, research findings, technological solutions, and robot- enabled service businesses from the international community. RoboCup 2021 also promises to provide guidelines on how to efficiently integrate robotics to manufacturing, tourism, agricultural, service, medical, educational and entertainment industries,” he adds.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Jackrit Suthakorn continues that, “Most importantly, RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand, will allow Thai investors or competitors to showcase the remarkable results of Thai robotics research & development. Thai participants in the event, furthermore, will be able to network with the world’s leading institutes and peers from all over the world. The exchanges of knowledge and experiences at the competition will spur inspirations and expand the horizons of Thais in regards to robotics, automation, industrial robots and service robots. What they will get from RoboCup 2021 can be applied to develop their inventions further”.

Mrs. Supawan Teerarat Vice President of Strategic and Business Development, TCEB says, mega events or world-class events rank among economic drivers that deliver tangible benefits. During the past year, TCEB has supported mega- events in four main fields namely: 1) Arts & Culture; 2) Creative & Lifestyle; 3) Entertainment and 4) Thailand 4.0. A study on economic impacts reveals mega events brought about 850,000 visitors to Thailand in 2017. Altogether, these visitors directly and indirectly generated about Bt16 billion income and created 17,492 jobs. The Thai government received about Bt680 million in tax revenue too. In 2018, mega-event trend has been growing in Thailand. It is estimated that mega events must have attracted some 1.1 million visitors to the country this year. Altogether, they must have generated no less than Bt22 billion in income and more than 22,000 jobs directly or indirectly. Tax revenues from the mega-events are estimated at no less than Bt1.2 billion.

“As for RoboCup 2021, we have worked with Mahidol University and N.C.C. International Events in bidding for the right to organize this mega event in Thailand. We, moreover, have integrated collaboration from all relevant government agencies in support of the event. The organizing committee, therefore, has growing confidence that preparations for RoboCup 2021 will go smooth. RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand will be a boost not just to industries related to smart devices, robots, and automation for Thailand 4.0’s New Economy goal but also to tourism industry. When the event is held, it will bring many visitors to the country. Included are general tourists as well as experts in the field of robotics and automation. There will be great opportunities for Thailand to build its image as a robotics leader too,” Mrs. Supawan says.

Mr. Sakchai Pattarapreechakul, managing director of N.C.C. International Events Company Limited or the successful bidder of the RoboCup 2021-organizing rights, says, “RoboCup 2021 will be another mega event in Thailand thanks to collaboration of the government, the private sector and a leading educational institute. In this collaboration are the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Customs Department, the Consular Affairs Department, BMA, TCEB, Mahidol University and N.C.C. International Events. All of us have leveraged our expertise and our network to ensure that RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand will be a successful mega-event. Hosting the RoboCup competition will be different from other kinds of events namely exhibitions or conferences because we will also have to build a specialized field for the competition. The task requires  expertise, accuracy, and personnel who have solid understanding of the RoboCup rules. Participants in RoboCup include youths and their families. Because they will come from various different countries, we need to plan carefully to deliver convenience and safety to all during their travels and also at the venue of the event as well as their places of stay”.

“RoboCup 2021 Bangkok, Thailand, will also be a forum whereby entrepreneurs and academics in the fields of robotics, automation, industrial robots and service robots can meet. The event will add value to Thailand especially via tourism industry. RoboCup 2021 will present Thailand a good opportunity to invite foreigners to make a visit. We expect RoboCup 2021 to attract more than 3,000 participants from 45 countries across the world,” he continues.

“As the organizer of RoboCup 2021, we sincerely hope that the event will create good experiences for all involved be they stakeholders, contestants, exhibitors, sponsors or visitors. Also, we are determined to organize more events for robotics and automation in the future. We intend to hold such events on a regular basis so as to make Thais’ robotics abilities internationally recognized and present Thailand as ASEAN’s robotics leader,” Mr. Sakchai concludes.