The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Technology drives collaboration between industry, academia and government at Oceanology International North America debut
Nearly 2000 ocean science and marine technology professionals from academia, industry and government organisations from 46 countries came together for the inaugural Oceanology International North America (OINA 2017) conference and exhibition, held in San Diego, California, USA, from 14-16 February.
Delivered in association with San Diego-headquartered The Maritime Alliance and supported by leading industry organisations including the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US National Ocean Industries Association, the Society for Underwater Technology, UK, and IMarEST, UK, OINA 2017 was billed as a high quality event dedicated to further developing the ‘Blue Economy’ through the application of innovative technology and focused collaboration between academics, industry experts and government agencies.
With a clear focus on ‘BlueTech’ and the Blue Economy, OINA 2017 attracted visitors, exhibitors and conference delegates from 39 US states, eight Canadian provinces and seven South American countries. The show’s organiser, Reed Exhibitions, UK, recorded a total attendance of 3100 across the three-day conference and exhibition, with 1775 unique visitors.
Visitors from the US Navy, Coast Guard, Police and various government, science and environmental organisations attended OINA 2017. International interest in OINA 2017 was also high, with delegations coming from organisations in Asia and Europe, including Australia, Belgium, China, Japan, France and Germany, to meet the 161 exhibiting organisations from 16 countries.
During the OINA 2017 conference, the application and integration of diverse and sophisticated technology was highlighted as the binding force for academia, industry and government to tackle the major challenges facing society today. The use of technology for research and monitoring of polar ice caps and the changing ocean environment were key themes throughout the conference, with several presentations acting as a catalyst for conversation and ideas to address climate change, the single largest threat facing civilisation in the 21st century.
The final day of OINA 2017 featured the future looking Catch the Next Wave (CTNW) conference in association with University California San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography. With papers delivered by diverse science and technology organisations in addition to a focus on the achievements of ocean science pioneer and “living legend” Walter H. Munk as he celebrates his 100th birthday this year, CTNW was the ideal book-end to a busy and lively three-day conference program. Walter Munk himself joined the event, which also featured a milestone for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, with the announcement of 24 semi-finalists for the next stage of the competition.
“I’ve just spent three great days at OINA. I was able to find things at the exhibition that I didn’t know existed, so never would have found otherwise. That’s the real beauty of such an exhibition. I sincerely hope that the organisers can grow on the success of this first time in North America and make OINA an important exhibition and conference for marine professionals,” said Iain Miller, technical authority – Subsea Projects, TechnipFMC, UK.
“As our diverse technology portfolio is used by such a wide range of customers, the broad scope of OINA 2017 was a great fit for Kongsberg,” said Katharina Nygaard, marketing and communication manager at Kongsberg Maritime, Norway. “We showed a number of key technologies and had a lot of interest in the K-Lander modular seabed sensor carrier. This sophisticated system is aimed at various different industry sectors including environmental monitoring, offshore oil and gas, marine renewables and marine research, all of which were represented in San Diego.”
According to OINA senior event director Jonathan Heastie, the decision to bring Oceanology International’s broad, all-encompassing format to North America has proven a resounding success. “We achieved what we set out to do – provide a diverse platform for professionals throughout the Americas to come together and discuss the important topics that are driving the Blue Economy and gain a stronger understanding of the myriad of new technologies available and in development that can support their work. We are relishing the opportunity to work with all stakeholders to build on this first edition and deliver an even bigger and better event when we return to San Diego in 2019,” he said.