Influential speakers announced for Catch the Next Wave’s return at Oi24

Influential speakers announced for Catch the Next Wave’s return at Oi24

The organizers of Oceanology International 2024 (Oi24) have unveiled an exceptional roster of expert speakers for the highly anticipated revival of the Catch the Next Wave series at the premier ocean technology and marine science exposition and conference, set to take place at London’s ExCeL from 12­–14 March.

Scheduled as the culminating event of an extensive and impactful Oi conference agenda, CTNW makes its triumphant return to the programme for the sixth occasion, this time with a dedicated focus on innovation within the ocean-climate interface. A distinguished line-up of industry luminaries, drawn from the marine sector and beyond, will grace the stage to address pressing issues and delve into solutions arising from the intertwined challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Anchoring the proceedings is the opening keynote ‘Rising to the Challenge’, delivered by Sir David King, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and the visionary behind the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), an esteemed panel of global climate authorities.

Exclusive to registered participants, the premium Catch the Next Wave conference endeavours to ignite fresh perspectives and cross-disciplinary dialogue, envisioning how cutting-edge technologies can propel us towards achieving net zero emissions and beyond, while simultaneously championing the restoration of Earth’s vital biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Interdisciplinary insights into marine technology

CTNW speaker and conference committee member Jyotika Virmani said: “I have been part of Catch the Next Wave for many years and what I find fascinating and wonderful about Catch the Next Wave is that it is the only conference that pairs what is happening in marine technology with what is happening outside marine technology. You really get to see what is going on in other fields such as medicine and material science and start to think about how they can interact and what we can pull into the marine field.”

CTNW, on Thursday 14 March, includes the following highlights:

  • The Climate and Biodiversity Crisis: The Big Picture

Opening keynote: Rising to the Challenge - Sir David King, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

Opening keynote: Solutions at the Ocean-Climate Nexus - Brad Ack, executive director and chief innovation officer, Ocean Visions

  • The Energy Transition

Energy from the Ocean - Benj Sykes, vice president, head of environment, consenting and external affairs, Ørsted, president at SUT

  • Climate Repair

Beyond Net Zero - Kelly Wanser, executive director, SilverLining

Beyond Net Zero: The Role of the Ocean in Climate Repair - Ed Hill, CEO, National Oceanography Centre

  • Protecting the Earth’s Living Systems

Restoring the Ocean - Professor Helen Findlay, biological oceanographer, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

  • The Future Evolution of Key Enabling Technologies

Sensors - Jyotika Virmani, executive director, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Robotics - Justin Manley, president, Marine Technology Society

Analytics, Digital Twins and Artificial Intelligence - Professor Mike Wooldridge, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford.

There will also be sessions for Q&A and networking within the CTNW conference agenda.

Diving deep into the critical and controversial topics affecting the industry today and into the future, the wider Oi24 technical sessions will cover pertinent topics including the blue economy, the energy transition, sustainability and controversial areas such as ocean mining and oil & gas. Varied sessions will encompass: sensors and software; ocean observation and measurement; uncrewed vehicles and vessels; navigation and positioning; data interpretation, AI & ocean ICT; bathymetry; asset integrity & monitoring; offshore renewable energy; marine pollution and site investigation.

Ocean Futures Theatre

One of the prominent conference locations on the show floor is the keynote Ocean Futures Theatre, which brings together thought leaders from industry, academia and government to discuss meeting future ocean technology needs in line with market developments and new ocean enterprise strategies. Topics range from sustainability in offshore wind and Seabed 2030 to women in industry and future talent/careers. Rick Spinrad, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere & NOAA administrator, is confirmed as the keynote speaker at the opening plenary.

The technical sessions and Ocean Futures Theatre content are all free to attend for Oi24 attendees.

Carlos Fernandes, Oceanology International conference manager, said: “We are very excited to reveal plans for what we believe is an inspirational and innovative conference programme for Oi24. As usual, the aim is to deliver fresh ideas and to welcome as many people as possible to join the conversation during the three days. Adding to the line-up of five-star technical sessions, we are particularly pleased to reintroduce Catch the Next Wave for a special sixth edition. We are delighted to confirm such a strong group of speakers who we expect to deliver unmissable presentations with significant impact. Across all the content, we want to remain detail-orientated, to take a deep look into case studies and reflect real world situations, helping us to understand how to achieve our missions and make a difference.”

Oceanology International and its co-located event OceanICT will take place at London’s ExCeL from 12–14 March this year and are expected to bring 7,500+ attendees and 450+ exhibitors from 80+ countries, with 100+ companies expected to conduct product or service launch activity in 2024. Thousands of international industry buyers, influencers and professionals will come together once again for the chance to benefit from the unparalleled global marketplace, forum and networking opportunity.

The Oi conference programme can be viewed here. Registration for the CTNW conference is available here, with limited places. To stay updated on Oceanology International 2024, please visit

Innovation takes centre stage at Oceanology International 2024’s Catch the Next Wave conference, focusing on the ocean-climate nexus.
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