President of the European Commission,
Mrs. Dr. Ursula von der Leyen
Patronage for International Final 2022
Dear children and young people,
dear WRO Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The theme of this year’s World Robot Olympiad, ‘My Robot My Friend’, addresses issues that could hardly be more topical.
I say this because robots are set to play an increasingly important role in our everyday professional and private lives. That is why we at the European Commission are also working on innovation and research in the field of robotics as part of our digital strategy. There are ethical issues at stake here too. We are determined to shape the digital transition to fit our values. Because, for all our enthusiasm for innovation and the latest technology, we must never lose sight of those who are meant to benefit from our inventions – real people. At the end of the day, our focus in Europe is always on people, their rights and their needs.
I am therefore delighted that this year’s international final of the World Robot Olympiad is being held in Germany. And there can hardly be a more suitable host city than Dortmund, which has just been designated ‘European Capital of Innovation’.
However, your robot competitions, and especially the international final, are not just about who has the most creative ideas and the biggest talent. What is more important is what you take away from this wonderful event for your own lives. I therefore encourage you while in Dortmund to talk to as many other children and young people from as many countries as possible, to share your ideas on robotics and at the same time learn something about other cultures and far-off countries.
I wish you every success and lots of fun at the international final in November and I take this opportunity to thank all the organisers, sponsors and supporters for making this event possible in these challenging times.
Dr. Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission