After 17 years, the 17th edition of the WFCS is back in Austria. This time in the beautiful city of Linz in Upper Austria. The WFCS is the largest IEEE conference especially dedicated to communications for industrial automation systems. It is held the first time in Linz, Austria, an industrial emerging area with leading industries. It is a melting pot of academia and industry. This fact is shown by the local organizer mix of this WFCS which are Johannes Kepler University Linz, Silicon Austria Labs, and Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH. The WFCS is supported by IEEE and IES and led by the IEEE TC on Factory Automation, and will be hosted by the Johannes Kepler University Linz between the 9th and 11th of June 2021.

In light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and after considering the current situation in Europe and Austria, we decided to move our conference to a fully online conference.

We strongly believe that this is the best approach for interaction during the conference given the current circumstances. We are pleased that a virtual event will allow us to expand the audience to those who have little time for travelling, but instead have now the opportunity to participate virtually. Let us make the best out of it. The presenters are asked to prepare high quality pre-recorded videos, which will be made available together with the recorded Q&A after the conference.

We run the conference in fully online mode, with virtual session rooms and facilities for online presentation of talks, such that attendees will have an experience very close to the real conference. 

In addition, IES supports us with the virtual conference organization tool qiqochat.com, which enables us to offer free participation to attendees not presenting a paper as well.