Industry gears up for Ocean Business 2017

13 Mar 2017
This year’s event will take place on 4-6 April

This year’s event will take place on 4-6 April

Ocean Business 2017 is set to take place in Southampton at the National Oceanography Centre from 4 to 6 April.

This year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet with over 340 exhibitors, including 50 first time exhibitors, from 26 countries around the world.

Cheri Arvonio, Ocean Business event manager, explained: "We have a fantastic diversity of exhibitors lined up for this year's show and are thrilled that so many companies are joining us for the first time this year.”

He added: “The fact that many exhibitors are from overseas proves that Ocean Business is recognised internationally as a leading event for innovation in ocean technology.  As well as this, we expect that over 40% of the show's visitors will be from outside the UK."

The event will offer a dual use conference, a selection of associated events from several key organisations and a social programme providing invaluable networking opportunities including welcome drinks, a wine trail on the exhibit floor and a gala dinner.

Ocean Careers will also be on hand to provide advice on career opportunities within the ocean technology, marine science and offshore industries.

"As one of the leading tradeshows worldwide, we are confident that Ocean Business will provide a great opportunity for us to directly connect with our customers in a unique environment with hands on demonstrations of new and innovative technology,” said first time exhibitor Neil Manning who is chief business development officer at 3D at Depth.

Mr Manning continued: “We will showcase the success of our technology by providing real-world examples of how subsea LiDAR can increase offshore efficiencies especially in the areas of decommissioning and other applications where 3D mapping is critical to a project's success."

Alongside many first-time exhibitors, also new to this year’s show are two events held by Marine South East and Enterprise Europe Network and supported by the European Commission. Both events are free to all Ocean Business visitors and will focus on defence and commercial applications in autonomous systems and satellite applications.

Firstly, the conference which starts at 9:30am on 4 April will aim to highlight innovation priorities and initiate relationships across defence and commercial, involving major primes and SMEs. The conference will focus on two technology themes – maritime information services and sensor platforms and autonomy.

Both themes are currently enjoying strong investment in both civil and military applications, with large numbers of SMEs in the value chain, but where dual-use priorities are not systematically identified.  

Dr Jonathan Williams, CEO of Marine South East, said: “There is increasing convergence between defence and commercial applications in areas such as surveillance, asset tracking and cyber-security. This presents ‘dual-use’ opportunities for business. Not only can convergence share costs across different applications, but also it offers broader market access for innovative products and services.”

Also held for the first time will be a B2B Matchmaking Event organised by Enterprise Europe Network which gives an opportunity to meet business partners during pre-arranged 30 minute meetings and create real business development opportunities with exhibitors and visitors, active in the maritime sector.

The event is open to all attendees of Ocean Business 2017 and participants at the Maritime and Defence Dual-Use event and will provide visitors with the opportunity to meet civil and defence partners on a 1-2-1 basis.

M Arvonio added: “We are delighted that Marine South East and Enterprise Europe Network have selected Ocean Business event to co-locate this conference and B2B matching event. With funding from the European Union it is an added benefit that both events are being offered on a FREE to Attend basis.”

Alongside this, Diversified Communications UK will be delivering a programme of workshops at Ocean Business 2017.

On the first day of Ocean Business, professor Matt Mowlem, Head of the NOC’s Ocean Technology and Engineering Group, will present the NOC's sensor and instrumentation technologies and how NOC will be engaging with the industry in a variety of ways, including licensing technology and collaborative R&D projects.

2017 will be another key year, seeing NOC developed technologies made available commercially through partners and deployed on marine autonomous systems, landers, moorings and platforms for science.

Kevin Forshaw, associate director of Innovation and Enterprise at the NOC, said: “Having a world-class ocean technology event at the NOC provides us with a great opportunity to welcome thousands of marine stakeholders and engage with them in a number of ways.”

He added: “Through this series of seminars and workshops we are looking to highlight projects and capabilities that can inform wider marine technology industries, with the aim of developing new partnerships going forward. These will highlight how the NOC can support business in growing BlueTech markets, as the world becomes increasingly reliant on resources from the oceans.”

The potential use of arctic shipping lanes will be an interesting subject for discussion on the final day of the show, as well as a seminar with NOC's data modelling experts explaining how to translate marine data into industry applications. All these workshops will be free to attend and visitors simply need to register.

Versha Carter, group director for Ocean Business, concluded: "We have had the most incredible response to our stand sales for the 2017 show. Feedback from our last show showed that many exhibitors find Ocean Business to be the single most effective sales tool for return on investment. Companies recognise that in such challenging times, they can't afford to miss its unique opportunities for demonstrating products and services face-to-face and for social networking. People do great business in a relaxed and friendly environment."

A full list of exhibitors and details on demonstrations taking place can be found on the Ocean Business website.

By Alice Mason