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Youth Round Table on Underwater Robotics in Asia-Pacific was held in the online format
On September 24, 2020, "Underwater Robotics in Russia and Asia-Pacific after COVID-19: Challenges and Perspectives" Youth Round Table was held in the online format. The event was hosted by Russky Technopark and organized by Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Center for Robotics Development, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The Youth Round Table was conducted in frames of the «Prospects for the Development of Sea-based Robotic Complexes (Systems)» Research Conference. The Research Conference was organized within the second stage of Aquarobotech-2020, the all-Russia marine robotics competition which took place on September 22-26, 2020.

The Round Table gathered around 40 students and young professionals in the field of underwater robotics from Russia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asia-Pacific countries in order to discuss the challenges caused by COVID-19 and perspectives in the sphere's development. The event was moderated by Mr. Vitaly Savenkov, Russky Technopark Deputy CEO.

The participants received the welcoming address by Mr. Oleg Mugin, Deputy Chief of the Special Research and Advanced Technologies Registration Department of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. In his welcoming speech, Mr. Mugin told participants about current trends in education and prospects of internationalization of Aquarobotech competition.

"In recent years, game-based and competition-based teaching methods have become extremely relevant in Russia. Through such methods, it is possible to acquire skills and competencies that can't be acquired in any other way in the educational process...Currently, FEFU hosts the Aquarobotech all-Russia marine robotics competition which includes a competitive component. Next year, we are planning to extend the competition to an international level. With the active participation of industrial partners who are interested in attracting new professionals, the Aquarobotech competition provides students an opportunity to develop new competencies", - said Mr. Mugin.

Moreover, Mr. Dmitry Borovikov, Russky Technopark CEO also delivered a welcoming address in frames of the Round Table. Mr. Borovikov emphasized the importance of developing the scientific component in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Russian Far East and the strong connection of technological entrepreneurship to the research sphere.

"To create a robust ecosystem, we have focused our attention on the underwater robotics cluster, comprised of young, talented, and ambitious individuals. The accomplishments that FEFU and, specifically, FEFU Underwater robotics cluster have achieved within these 8 years is the reason for us to be proud and look for greater accomplishments... Thus, with accumulated expertise and great support from FEFU and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federationand, we are fully devoted towards the internationalization of the event and engagement of Asia-Pacific partners", - said Russky Technopark CEO.

One of the keynote speakers was Mr. Anton Tolstonogov, FEFU Underwater Robotics Team Lead who spoke about current trends in underwater robotics in Russia, particularly in the Russian Far East. Mr. Tolstonogov also told participants about FEFU experience in underwater robotics including FEFU participation in Robosub (USA), Singapore AUV Challenge and the Aquarobotech-2020 all-Russia marine robotics competition. The speaker also announced the upcoming Russky AUV Challenge, the international AUC competition and research conference which is planned to be conducted in October 2021 on Russky Island.

Another keynote speaker Mr. Sergey Mun, CEO of The Center for Robotics Development shared his ideas about online and digital formats of youth underwater robotics competitions and told about the impact of COVID-19 on underwater robotics in Russia.

Moreover, the online Round Table was joined by Dr. Keisuke Watanabe from the Department of Navigation and Ocean Engineering at School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University (Japan). The speaker described how Tokai University developed a set of sea environment monitoring systems in Japan and told participants about the peculiarities of underwater robotics in the country.

Russky Technopark would like to express its gratitude to all the invited experts and speakers as well as to participants for the active participation in the Round Table!
September 27, 2020