Juniper Networks has become the global technology partner of the World Robot Olympiad Association (WRO).
The association is a non-profit organisation which promotes hands-on robotics projects in STEM education and hosts the annual World Robot Olympiad competition.
The competition, founded in 2004, brings together over 23,000 teams from 70 countries in events including robotics competitions for advanced students, pre-teen students and robot football.
As part of its involvement in the competition, Juniper will be sponsoring a new trophy at this year's finals, WRO 2018, known as the Juniper Networks' Engineering Simplicity Honors Award. Juniper will judge teams in the Regular category at the finals, across all age groups, on the boldness, creativity and simplicity of their robot-led solutions. Overall, the WRO competition encourages participating teams to solve challenges and complex problems using mathematics, computer programming and coding skills, as well as exploring the principles of automation. It also fosters other important life skills including teamwork, perseverance, learning from mistakes and creative thinking.
Juniper is currently sponsoring a short documentary film looking at the human stories behind some of the teams and their paths to WRO 2018. The company is working in conjunction with the accomplished filmmaker and director James Redford, who is renowned for making documentary films that focus on personal, solution-based stories addressing vexing social and environmental challenges.
Claus Ditlev Christensen, secretary-general at World Robot Olympiad Association said: "In WRO, we see robotics as a wonderful platform for giving young people around the world an opportunity to be hands-on with STEM. We see the teams adopt new technology when developing fully autonomous robots and they apply engineering processes when designing prototypes before completing the challenges. They quickly get absorbed in coming up with original solutions to complex problems.
"Bringing Juniper Networks on board as a global premium partner enables us to tap into its heritage and experience as an engineering and automation pioneer. Juniper will provide practical support and inspiration for young people as they embark upon their STEM-driven journeys toward fulfilling careers."
"In the digital age, networks are the lifeblood of every community, every government and every economy. Automation has become a key enabler of such technology, functioning alongside humans to create and operate networks that can scale, flex and protect, dynamically adapting in nanoseconds to deliver rich services. Ironically, a pressing shortage of skilled technologists is likely to increase even more in the future, putting at risk the potential of intelligent networks," Mike Marcellin, chief marketing officer at Juniper Networks.
"It is imperative that the upcoming generations understand the importance of automation - Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, virtualization - in order to take technology forward into their future. Juniper Networks is proud to be the global technology partner of the WRO Finals in 2018 and beyond, as it is the perfect nurturing environment for tomorrow's automation innovators."