World Robot Olympiad coming to the Palais des congrès de Montréal in 2020

From November 13 to 15, 2020, the Palais des congrès de Montréal will serve as the venue for the International Final of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO). The event, organized by Zone01, will draw 2,000 participants to Montréal and generate $1,818,000 in tourism revenue for the city and Québec. This international competition attracts students between the ages of 7 and 25 from over 60 countries. Each year, more than 20,000 teams from all over the world build robots and take on various WRO challenges in order to qualify for the International Final and represent their country.

“We feel privileged to host these promising young creative minds and to play an active role in an event that is so clearly aligned with the importance we attribute to robotics and AI in Montréal. The intellectual wealth that will result from the event will greatly benefit students, researchers, universities and anyone advocating for technology,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

The crucial involvement of dynamic local influencers
This international bid coordinated by Andrée-Anne Sauvageau of the Palais de congrès de Montréal and funded by Tourisme Montréal, was presented at the most recent Olympiad, held in Costa Rica. The participation of Dominic Bruneau, a graduate of École Polytechnique and HEC Montréal, had a determining impact on the Palais and Montréal being awarded the event. Mr. Bruneau spent several years designing vision systems for industrial automation, and has been a member of numerous robotics clubs. He helped establish Zone01 as the WRO National Organizer for Canada. “I get involved in local and international competitions to offer young people the opportunity to broaden their horizons by exploring robotics systems. They represent our future scientists, engineers, manufacturers and inventors, and I like to see the spark in their eyes when they create and program robots,” said Bruneau.

City known as a bustling centre for AI and robotics
An AI hub, Montréal is home to the biggest and most prestigious community of deep learning researchers in the world (MILA)1. It has 11 higher learning institutions and 91,000 ITC workers, making the perfect city to host the WRO. Also, the Palais des congrès de Montréal just hosted the RoboCup international competition in June 2018, and will welcome the 30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the International Conference on Computer Vision in 2021, as well as the ICRA – IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 2019.

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in the Americas, according to the rankings released by the Union of International Associations. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support to foster the international reputation of their industry as it continues to evolve.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
The Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events, and generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to Montréal’s international reputation as a premier host city.

About Zone01
Zone01 is a non-profit organization that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people through the advancement of educational robotics in schools and the hosting of robot competitions across Canada.

About the WRO
Founded in 2004, the World Robot Olympiad Association is a non-profit organization that organizes a global competition dedicated to science, technology and education. All revenue from sponsorships and fees is invested toward supporting its mission, which is to promote robotics in STEM education worldwide.

1 Montréal International