Connecting The Ocean Technology, Engineering & Science Communities

Oceanology International Americas
OiA Conference

Published Feb 15, 2023 11:58 AM by The Maritime Executive

Oceanology International Americas (OiA) opened its doors today to welcome back ocean scientists, engineers, government, Navy and academics, from across the Americas and around the world. This three-day event, last held in 2019, is the largest ocean technology trade show & conference in the US.

Event Director David Ince commented: “We are delighted to welcome back to the ocean tech hub of San Diego such a wonderful cross section of subject matter experts, thought leaders and game-changers from the ocean technology, science and engineering communities. Walking the site this morning, it has been a real satisfaction to witness the return of this vibrant face-to-face business environment, with a focus on creating new relationships, discovering the latest technologies and, accessing the latest thinking in the conferences. We are delighted to welcome back all ocean professionals who are involved in the critical activities of exploring, protecting and sustainably operating in the world’s oceans and waterways.”

The event, running from 14-16 February delivers a proven mix of three days of face-to-face business on the exhibit floor allied to extensive conference and technical sessions covering a huge range of subject areas.

Much has happened in ocean technology and beyond in the four-year gap since the (usually biennial) event last ran. A large proportion of the event content this year fits under the subject area of the practical, real-world delivery of key change-enabling technologies, such as those needed for a sustainable Blue Economy, effective Energy Transition and Uncrewed Vehicle Operations.

These overarching themes were brought into focus by Dr Ralph Rayner, Oceanology International Americas Conference Chair: “This year’s Ocean Futures plenary sessions have a strong 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. The plenary sessions have been complemented by related topical roundtable discussions and a full program of technical tracks connecting the products and services on show in the exhibition hall with their application across the new blue economy. This year’s technical track program has begun how it means to continue- by covering all stages of ocean technology innovation; seamlessly connecting technology push with application pull.”

Today’s technical tracks included two sessions on Ocean Observation & Sensing, featuring experts from Ocean Sierra, Fototerra Aerial Survey, Seatrec, Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans, RBR Ltd, MTS, Stony Brook University, PLOCAN and Norwegian University of Science & Technology.

It’s quite a mix of different types of organisations, continues David Ince: “To get to the better understanding of the oceans we need, events like OiA are a great tool. As we have seen already, our conference is designed to put academic experts in the same room as business leaders. It’s a very quick way to gain a better understanding of where we are now with a technology, where we need to be, by when and why, and what any roadblocks might be.”

In the Ocean Futures Theatre, conference sessions bought to life by leading lights in the sector mixed seamlessly in with must see industry events and networking opportunities such as the presentation of the Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration, a key social highlight and celebration for Day 1 of OiA. This year’s award was shared by two inspirational women: Edith Widder, President and Senior Scientist at Ocean Research & Conservation Association and Samantha Joye, Oceanographer and Marine Scientist at University of Georgia.

Wednesday’s Ocean Futures Theatre schedule dives even deeper into workable next steps with tracks including Delivering Net Zero: Offshore renewable energy and ocean carbon sequestration, and End-use Case Studies in Understanding, Managing and Protecting the Coastal Marine Environment.

On the exhibition floor, over 140+ organisations from multinational ocean tech leaders to start-ups and not-for-profits welcomed visitors from as far afield as Australia and Singapore. 68 exhibitors have made the trip from non-US territories this year including Germany, France, China, Norway, Canada, Turkey, Malta and Taiwan.

In comparison, for Florida-headquartered Arctic Rays LLC, it was a short cross-continental hop but well worth making, in view of some big news they had to share with the subsea industry, said Stephanie Herndon, Arctic Rays’ Director of Marketing & Communications: “Our new, 1,000m-rated, subsea surveillance system was ready for its West Coast launch today. It comprises topside hardware with video management software and Alpheus, our subsea multiplexer telemetry system, for networking of lights, cameras and pan-and-tilt units and is of considerable interest to ocean energy installations and other offshore structures, fish farms, subsea worksites and dive operations, which are always well represented at Oceanology International events. We’ve also been pleased to present Yellowfin, the company’s newest machine vision payload for turnkey seafloor imaging, and our own pressure relief valve, Barnacle.”

Curtis Opsahl from Reach Robotics said “Great attendees and exhibition. Awesome opportunity to show potential customers and current customers new products as well as discuss new opportunities.”

Oceanology International Americas runs until 16 February 2023.

Conference badges start at $300, while admission to the show floor is FREE.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.