Global Maritime Information Sharing Symposium (GMISS) Set for August 20-21

Symposium aims to improve industry efficiency and effectiveness through greater coordination of government maritime information sharing

August 12 2008: Maritime industry and government representatives are meeting in a symposium in Kings Point, NY, August 20 and 21 to better coordinate government outreach to the maritime industry, create a framework by which industry issues and recommendations can be systematically addressed by the appropriate government agencies, and establish new working groups to coordinate follow through.

August 12, 2008: The Global Maritime Information Sharing Symposium (GMISS) will begin by aggregating work already being done to improve maritime information sharing from previous conferences, such as the Protecting the Global Supply Chain conference conducted in June, and then develop opportunities that are being overlooked.

Maritime information sharing is seen by many in the government and private sector as the critical component to improving security, safety and environmental protection, while reducing the friction that increased government information requirements impose on legitimate commerce.

The symposium is being hosted by the US Merchant Marine Academy's Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS).

GMISS participants will hammer out a framework that enables members of the maritime industry to coordinate concerns and recommendations with the appropriate government agencies, or combinations of agencies, and provides a mechanism for those agencies to prioritize issues and follow through.

This first conference is being established and coordinated via a working group consisting of representatives from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, US Navy Fleet Forces Command, the US Coast Guard, the Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA), and conference-host GMATS.

This symposium is being coordinated under the auspices of the U.S. government's Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Stakeholders Board, a body that brings together all federal agencies with maritime interests. The GMISS is designed as an annual event hosted at national and international maritime education centers to bring representatives of the maritime industry and non-governmental organizations together with government to prioritize issues to be brought before the MDA Stakeholder Board for action throughout the coming year.

Toward that end, OGMSA, a co-chair of the MDA Stakeholders Board, will follow up on issues developed at the conference, and work with conference participants and the appropriate governmental and non-governmental agencies and private-sector partners to find solutions that best serve the maritime community. The results of these efforts will be presented at the next year's GMISS.

Symposium participants will have the opportunity to attend two of three break-out sessions that address industry and maritime information sharing, law enforcement information sharing in the maritime environment, and regional blue water information sharing. These sessions will include presentations by insurance underwriters, ship operators, DOJ, and uniformed services from around the world including the US Coast Guard and Navy. All break-out sessions will include open discussions and question-and-answer sessions.

Each symposium participant will also have the opportunity to participate in one of four working groups that address whether government information requests to shipping companies can be consolidated, streamlined, standardized or reduced; the optimum law enforcement/industry model for an international/domestic maritime information sharing center; what the maritime industry wants from the worlds' navies; and creating economic incentives for information sharing.

The working groups will be guided by representatives from US Customs and Border Protection, the US Navy, marine terminal companies, vessel owners, shipping brokerage firms, shipping agents, information sharing and knowledge management consultants, and leading maritime researchers.

Each working group will present its conclusions and recommendations to the entire symposium on the final day.

GMISS attendees must register in advance by contacting Mr. Joe Hennes at GMATS. He can be reached at Joe.Hennes@usmma.edu or by calling (516) 773-5127. More information is available at www.gmats.usmma.edu.

Members of the media interested in attending this event should contact CAPT Sheila Rausch at 202-372-3067. The Symposium Flyer can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

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