Preview: OI North America 2017 San Diego

Marine Technology Reporter

Oceanology International North America: OI 2017 set to cover the full extent of marine science and ocean technology 

The first edition of Oceanology International North America (OINA), established from the well-known OI event in London, will make an impact within the ocean science and technology industries in San Diego, Calif. in February 2017.
OINA is set to capture the full extent of the marine and ocean technology industries in North America. The event is the newest addition to the Oceanology International portfolio, with the flagship Oceanology International event in London now in its 47th year, and OI China now in its fifth year. Oceanology International North America has already attracted a number of  well-known speakers and exhibitors from industry, academia and government, including James Birch, Director-SURF Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI); Jules Jaffe, Research Oceanographer, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Igor Prislin, Vice President – Chief Analytics Officer, BMT Scientific Marine Services; Michael Flynn, Chief Technology Officer, Cathx Ocean and Jake Sobin, Manager Sciences (Americas), Kongsberg Underwater Technology.
More than 2,500 visitors and delegates are expected to partake in the three-day event at the San Diego Convention Center from February 14-16, 2017. Visitors to the event will have access to a myriad of marine and ocean science technology organizations from an array of sectors, including academia, fisheries and aquaculture, government, marine environmental protection, marine renewables, marine science, ocean mining, offshore construction, offshore oil and gas, ports, harbors and terminals, ships and shipping and telecoms.
With the attendance of so many industry experts, OINA provides the opportunity to network, make new contacts, share knowledge and conduct business all under one roof. 
The North American exhibition is organized by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with The Maritime Alliance (TMA). OINA is also supported by a range of leading industry associations including The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).
Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of Reed Exhibitions, said, “Oceanology International is committed to providing what the industry wants, which is why we are launching the event in the world’s largest marine technology market, North America. OINA will bring together all elements and communities within the North American ocean science and marine technology market. This includes ensuring we bring together multiple buyers from differing industries, all united by the use of technology, but in a myriad of different ways.”
In addition to the OINA exhibition, the conference program will provide a better understanding of present and future technological requirements and opportunities of the Blue Economy over multiple conference sessions including; keynote panels, technical tracks, breakout panel sessions and the Catch The Next Wave conference. The conference programs will focus on key issues for North America and globally, establishing OINA as a must-attend forum for thousands of industry, academia and government professionals interested in sharing knowledge to improve their strategies for measuring, advancing, protecting and operating in the world’s oceans.
Conference committee member, Justin Manley, Founder of Just Innovation, explained, “OINA is designed to cut across several maritime disciplines. While it will include traditional content similar to prior OI events, its new location and organizing team will bring views from a very broad ocean science and technology community. This distinctive and global perspective will be a special offering in North America.” 
The multi-track conference will showcase keynote sessions, taking place February 14-15, 2017. These will explore the requirements for ocean science and technology in support of delivering a sustainable Blue Economy. Leaders from science, industry and government will define the characteristics that allow the ocean activities for the protection of the marine environment. The sessions will highlight the exploration of ocean resources, transportation and security and climate and environment. Ellen Burgess of Reed Exhibitions said, “The keynote focused panel discussions at OINA will be an insight into the emerging topics for ocean science and technology and how this is delivering an environmentally sound blue economy.” 
The keynote sessions and other conference program have all been established by a highly experienced conference committee, consisting of 12 industry and academic experts, dedicated to supporting the industry. Ralph Rayner, chair of the OINA17 conference committee, is a U.S. IOOS Industry Liaison at NOAA and Co-Chair of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans Industry Liaison Council.
“Oceanology International is unique in its focus on demonstrating the benefits of ocean science and technology to the many users of the ocean,” Rayner said. “I am particularly looking forward to the keynote panel sessions as these will set the scene for future ocean science and technology needs associated with working in, on and under the oceans to deliver economic benefits and protect the ocean environment.”
In addition, a series of topical technical tracks will run across the three days exploring the current developments in ocean science and technology. These will assess the emerging markets and geographical opportunities, and feature technology advancements, case studies and best practice, presented by industry and marine science experts.
Key technical topics include ‘Big Data, Visualization and Modeling’ which will cover subjects such as offshore operations, accuracy of weather forecasting, transforming ocean data into accessible information and analysis tools and approaches.
The ‘Sensors and Instrumentation’ session will include approaches to marine sensor technology, principally chemical and biological and pilot/demonstration level talks that illustrate the size-limitation and operational independence challenges of deploying new sensors on autonomous platforms.
Other technical tracks will cover ‘Unmanned Vehicles and Vessels’ which will involve the broad outlook of the UUV and USV markets and emerging technology, ‘Hydrography, Geophysics and Geotechnics’ discussing the supporting new solutions, sensors, integration and automation.
The final day of the program will look to the future with the Catch the Next Wave (CTNW), which is organized in association with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. CTNW will take a long-term view of the science and technology that will shape future development and protection of the oceans and what the marine industry can learn from disruptive technologies emerging across other industry sectors.
Committee member Leo Roodhart said, “I am very much looking forward to a new ‘Catch the Next Wave’ session at OI North America. The two previous editions in London were spectacularly good in discussing future technology and innovation pathways towards possible oceanological breakthroughs. This time the theme of the session is to honor the work of the famous oceanographer Walter Munk which may provide completely new insights into future directions of ocean science.”
The CTNW will also credit the achievements of Scripps oceanographer Walter Munk as he approaches his 100th birthday. The focus will be on the many aspects of ocean science that Munk has worked on in his long and distinguished career are heading, and how technological innovations might contribute to progress.
In line with the established OI London event, the North America conference will be supported by an extensive industry exhibition. Booths from some of the biggest names in ocean science and marine technology from the U.S. and across the world will present a glimpse into the next generation of products and solutions designed to support both research and industry. 
Other features at to the conference will include the Investment, Trade and Innovation Theater and a number of “Ocean Social” networking events. During OINA there will also be opportunities dedicated to meeting education and career needs of the Blue Economy.
The three-day program takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from February 14-16, 2017. Visit the OINA website for more information or to register.
(As published in the November/December 2016 edition of Marine Technology Reporter)
Marine Technology Magazine, page 50,  Nov 2016

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