The INTERMAG 2021 Conference was due to be held in Lyon, France, 26-30 April 2021. Very unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis imply that there is a considerable uncertainty about the ability and willingness of our attendees to travel internationally. Owing to this uncertainty, the INTERMAG 2021 Management Committee, with the approval of the IEEE Magnetics Society Conference Executive Committee, has decided to change the conference format from a face-to-face meeting to a virtual one.
After ten years of effort to attract INTERMAG to Lyon and because we all so much enjoy meeting each other during our annual conferences, I sincerely regret that we had to make this decision. For a while, we also considered shifting to a hybrid format, partly face-to-face and partly virtual, but again due to the uncertainty about travelling abilities, the organization would have been too risky and costly.
Shifting to a virtual conference is a significant change for our community, however, MMM2020 also had to make this change to virtual due to the pandemic. We are gaining experience from MMM2020 as well as from other virtual conferences in different areas. The INTERMAG 2021 Management Committee is working hard to organize a virtual event that is as easy to participate in, secure, and rewarding as it can be. We will use the same virtual platform as for MMM2020 so that most of the attendees will already be familiar with it.
Besides the main technical program, various special events will be organized. Among them, we can already announce a live award ceremony during which the awardees of 2020 and 2021 will be recognized, an MRAM Forum with speakers from major microelectronics companies including a panel discussion on the future of MRAM technology, and tutorials on "Magnetism and the Environment" which was initially scheduled for INTERMAG 2020. There will continue to be sponsorship opportunities for our supporters and exhibitors. We recognize the financial hardships many may face and will strive to keep as low a registration fee as possible to enable the community to still meet for scientific exchange and continue to advance magnetic technologies.
Once again, we are very disappointed to not be able to provide our community members with the opportunity to come together and interact with, learn from, and be inspired by colleagues next April in Lyon, but your health and ultimately that of all of our families, colleagues, and communities, is absolutely paramount. We look forward to meeting you online in April 2021 from wherever you are in the world.
SPINTEC, CEA/Grenoble, France
General Chair, INTERMAG 2021