Oceanology International (Oi) is celebrating a successful half-century this year having spent that time showcasing the latest technological, strategic and conceptual developments addressing the increasingly urgent need for conscientious custodianship of the seas. Oi provides a means of accessing or promoting the most cogent and progressive thinking across a diverse variety of ocean science-related topics, specialisms and manufacturing bases, with all the networking and business-boosting potential that this implies.
The 50th-anniversary event is being held at Oceanology International Americas 2019 (OiA ’19), San Diego Convention Center, on 25-27 February. The show’s heritage will be commemorated on the final day between 09:45-11:15, with a series of short decade-by-decade talks on the exhibition floor covering significant advancements highlighted by Oi over its 50-year history. These will run the gamut from ‘Manned Exploration and The Emergence of ROV Technology’ to ‘Development of Autonomous Technologies and Robotics’ - the presentation will be rounded out with a session entitled ‘The Next 50 Years’.
“Resolutely looking ahead, brainstorming ways to overcome the next hurdle, has always been a defining principle of the exhibitors, conference speakers and attendees who interact at Oceanology International,” says Jonathan Heastie, exhibition director, Reed Exhibitions. “It’s hugely rewarding to be in a position where we can gaze back over five fruitful decades of ocean science innovation, but the unifying ethos throughout has always been the collaborative foresight, restlessness and heedfulness which drives pioneers of every stripe to meet environmental, technical and logistical challenges head-on. The fundamental doctrine has always been, what can we do right now to make tomorrow better?”
What’s on Show?
The OiA ‘19 show floor will be filled with companies publicizing their latest product and service updates. More than 200 exhibitors will be manning the stands, representing categories ranging from marine environmental protection to offshore oil & gas. Meanwhile, the conference strand promises to offer Oi’s most detailed programme to date, revolving around a core foundation of technical tracks on the subjects of Ocean ICT; Unmanned Vehicles, Vessels & Robotics; Navigation & Positioning; Marine Pollution & Environmental Stressors; Observation & Sensing; and Hydrography, Geophysics & Geotechnics.
One particular session, obliged by definition to draw a clear line connecting the present to the future, is the Seabed 2030 Quickfire Presentation and Panel Discussion (Tuesday 26 February, 14:30-16:00, Room 33BC). The Seabed 2030 project aims to map the world’s ocean floor by 2030 – but the process of collating data, securing the budget, and persuading individuals and organizations to support the enterprise will involve global coordination.
Panellists will include Dr Vicki Ferrini, research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and head of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regional Centre of Seabed 2030. “A complete ocean map will be important for planning various maritime activities that look beyond the depth/shape of the seafloor and consider composition, habitat, geohazards, etc,” Dr Ferrini enthuses. “Once we have a complete map assembled, there will be lots of new opportunities. Building the global community of stakeholders necessary to achieve the goals of Seabed 2030 will also have long-lasting effects.”
The ‘Ocean Futures Forum’ (Monday 25 February) and ‘Catch The Next Wave: Frontiers of Exploration’ (Tuesday 26 February) are set to be the two standout sessions of the conference. “These aptly-named incentives both examine factors which generate momentum in maritime sectors, but also act as inspirational catalysts in themselves,” notes Jonathan Heastie. “The Ocean Futures Forum discusses new technological requirements and market opportunities in the unfolding Blue Economy, while Catch The Next Wave demonstrates how the complementary fields of exploration and technology spur each other on in an ongoing, reciprocal loop of mutual discovery and enablement. People often talk about ‘brave new tomorrows’ in ocean science; but at OiA ‘19, as attendees will see, the journey begins right here, and we’re making great strides down that road.”
For more information and to register, visit www.oceanologyinternationalamericas.com