Oceanology International Americas Preparations in Full Swing
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Oceanology International Americas Preparations in Full Swing

The San Diego-based ocean technology, engineering and science event, Oceanology International Americas (OiA) has reported an upswell in interest and provided additional details on a number of new visitor and exhibitor attractions ahead of opening its doors from 14–16 February 2023.

With less than four months remaining until the show opens, OiA has recently been passing key milestones in exhibitor registrations. As David Ince, event director for organizers RX Global, said: “As we continue to connect with the global oceanology exhibitor network, we are on track to fill our exhibit hall with an inspiring and broad showcase of technology-based solutions to help all those involved in exploring, protecting and sustainably operating in the world’s oceans. It is a pleasure to be able to return to San Diego and bring the industry together to see the solutions first-hand and meet face-to-face in a vibrant, trade show environment.”

Climate Change Adaptation and Ocean Health

Connections made at events like OiA can unlock the innovations necessary to meet the needs of climate change adaptation, ocean health, the energy transition and market developments in the blue economy. From a manufacturer of small fittings to mount a video camera to an AUV to an operator of a fully equipped dive support vessel, OiA exhibitors all have one thing in common. They all offer viable solutions for real world problems, and thanks to the oceans’ importance in the future of our planet, these are problems for all of us, not just the ocean scientific community.

Since OiA launched in 2017, it has provided a catalyst for innovation, with the Ocean Futures Conference at the event representing a focal point to which visitors and exhibitors alike can bring new ideas and help set the stage for positive change in and around the world’s ocean industries.

OiA recently announced the timely headline 2023 conference theme of ‘The New Blue Economy: Unlocking the Potential’. Conference Chair Ralph Rayner describes how this overarching theme will be addressed: “Daily Ocean Futures plenary sessions will focus on unlocking the potential of ocean technologies and ocean information services to support a growing blue economy that balances delivering the vast economic potential of the ocean with meeting key societal challenges such as climate change and the protection of ocean health. These plenary sessions will be complemented by related topical roundtable discussions and a full programme of technical tracks connecting the products and services on show in the exhibition hall with their application across the new blue economy.”

The opening plenary will set the scene for the future development of the new blue economy, with senior representatives from federal and state government and from ocean technology and ocean services businesses describing their visions of the future.

Daily Ocean Futures panel discussions will focus on the role of new blue economy products and services in delivery of the energy transition and will explore the foundational science, effective innovation and workforce development that will be needed to unlock the future new blue economy.

Focal Point for Tech Accelerators

San Diego lies at the heart of the blue economy, representing a focal point for technologists and tech accelerators to showcase new-to-market solutions to an interested worldwide audience. The U.S. offers the ocean technology, science and engineering communities the largest subsea market in the world, making it as attractive to European manufacturers looking to get a foothold in this market place as it is to domestic exhibitors. The accessibility of San Diego from Canada, Mexico, Australia, South America and the wider APAC countries means that attendees are from diverse economically and strategically significant regions.

One example of this wide reach is Norwegian OiA exhibitor Water Linked, which recently shared the good news that it is set to provide a key component in the Watbots innovative solution for aquaculture cage cleaning.

“OiA is the best opportunity for us to meet existing and new customers based in North America, all in one location,” said Scott McLay, chief commercial officer of Water Linked. “We continue to grow our market share and North America is a key market for us, hence it is important for us to maintain a visual presence.”

While Water Linked has also offered clues of its intent to launch a new product at OiA, with full details as yet undisclosed, Australian-based exhibitor Advanced Navigation has let the cat much further out of the bag with some information regarding its Hydrus underwater drone, set to make its U.S. West Coast debut at OiA 2023.

Hydrus is set to wow crowds as this capable AUV fits in a standard airline carry-on bag yet packs in industry leading technology, including connectorless design, inductive charging, an AI-enhanced INS (Inertial Navigation System) and DVL transducers.

Advanced Navigation’s subsea product manager Peter Baker said: “This is a commercial-grade fully autonomous free swimming subsea robot, not to be confused with other similarly sized consumer or prosumer underwater drones which are usually tethered vehicles and remotely operated rather than fully autonomous. OiA is our opportunity to put this game changing technology in front of one of the largest concentrations of subsea professionals anywhere and we expect to develop a real buzz around it.”

Matchmaking Event

New to OiA for 2023 is a B2B matchmaking event on Wednesday 15 February. Delivered in partnership with Innovate UK EDGE, the b2match event will give OiA attendees the opportunity to meet potential collaborators and business partners during pre-arranged one-to-one meetings between exhibitors and visitors who are active in the blue economy.

According to Tim Benzie, project lead at Innovate UK EDGE, the b2match model has already proven its worth at other oceanology events: “Innovate UK EDGE is a key part of the UK innovation agency’s investment in the innovative businesses that drive economic growth and has already successfully delivered b2match as part of oceanology UK events in 2018 and 2020. This represents a first expansion of this fast-moving dynamic model into the international ocean scientific industry and we plan to bring a sizeable UK delegation with us to San Diego to support this.”

Find out more about OiA here

San Diego skyline seen from Coronado Island. (Photo: Andrew the Bobo/Creative Commons)