Oceanology International on track to consolidate past successes

Oi London 2018 conference programme is bolstered by a succession of Technical Tracks
Oi London 2018 conference programme is bolstered by a succession of Technical Tracks
Thanks to a dockside location some suppliers will stage equipment demonstrations on the water
Thanks to a dockside location some suppliers will stage equipment demonstrations on the water
More than 500 exhibitors from 79 countries are set to be in attendance at Oi London
More than 500 exhibitors from 79 countries are set to be in attendance at Oi London

Running from Tuesday, March 13 to Thursday, March 15 2018 at the ExCel, London, this year’s Oceanology International (Oi) London event – highlighting technological developments including robotics, autonomous systems and advanced sensor technology – is on course to provide a thorough interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and solutions from industry professionals.

“It’s by far one of the biggest shows every year,” observes Krista Brunette, Marketing Coordinator for the Ottawa-based oceanographic instrument manufacturing firm RBR Ltd. “With a wonderful group of exhibitors, it really draws in a large international crowd, whereas other, smaller events are usually only attended by locals and those surrounding the local area.”

This year, more than 500 exhibitors from 79 countries are set to be in attendance at Oi London – the event is augmented by the Oi Americas and Oi China exhibitions – and while the show is anticipated to be the largest yet in its almost five-decade history, a series of measures have been devised to facilitate the experience, saving exhibitors and visitors time and money in the process. These include a digital Exhibitor Hub, the MyEvent networking tool which enables attendees to plan and arrange their event schedule beforehand, a calendar of OceanSocial face-to-face networking events and an online accommodation booking system.

In addition to the exhibition element, ExCel London’s location – adjacent to the Royal Victoria Dock – will enable suppliers to stage equipment demonstrations on the water. Visitors will be able to experience product demonstrations live on the Royal Victoria Dock, either on-board participating exhibitor vessels or from a covered dockside cabin with a programme of in- and on-water product demonstrations taking place throughout the week.

As regards the conference schedule, the programme is filled from end to end with apposite topics for discussion which will address the most pivotal challenges facing the marine science community, and concurrent developments in the appropriate technologies and research. By way of example, these conferences will include Ocean Observing Systems Design, Methods and Operations (10.00-12.15, Tuesday, March 13, 2018); Developments In And Use Of New Platforms For Ocean Observing (15.15-17.15, Tuesday, March 13, 2018); and Subsea Acoustic Positioning: Faster, Better… and Cheaper? (13.15-15.00, Thursday, March 15, 2018).

“Each conference will be chaired by leading authorities in their respective fields,” notes Conference Manager Ellen Burgess. “The potential for enlightened, galvanising discussion and the cross-fertilisation of progressive ideas is genuinely exciting.”

The Oi London 2018 conference programme is bolstered by a succession of Technical Tracks, starting with the Hydrography, Geophysics & Geotechnics track on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, chaired by Andy Hill, Marine Geohazard Technical Authority at BP Exploration, and Richard Salisbury, Senior Consultant at Fugro GeoConsulting. This session will be given over to an analysis of the data collection and examination techniques which are routinely deployed in mapping offshore seabed and sub-seabed environments, and will look at the ways in which the ever accumulating and constantly adapted information assists the oil & gas, telecommunications, marine and coastal construction, renewables and seafloor mining industries.

Other Technical Tracks on the schedule include Ocean Observation & Sensing (Tuesday March 13, 2018), Underwater Imaging & Metrology (Wednesday, March 14, 2018) and, on Thursday, March 15, 2018, Marine Renewables. The latter track, chaired by Dr Zoe Roberts, Senior Metocean Analyst at Vattenfall Wind Power (UK), and Dr Stephen Wyatt, Research & Disruptive Innovation Director at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, will be dedicated to a consideration of the practical and technological issues which come to light during the development, installation and upkeep of the offshore renewable infrastructure.

Running alongside the main conference programme, parallel showcases will also be hosted. The Ocean Futures Forum (9.30-13.30, Tuesday, March 13, 2018) focuses on long-term energy trends, ocean growth and diversification and sustainability, while Catch The Next Wave 2018: Frontiers of Exploration (9.30-17.00, Thursday, March 15, 2018), organised in association with The Explorers Club, will examine the symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship between technology and exploration, demonstrating the way each acts as a spur for the other. Registration for each of these events costs £100 + VAT.

Meanwhile, the Ocean ICT Expo will see an all-encompassing line-up of experts congregating to host presentations and offer advice on meeting the demand for marine and ocean IT, communications, satellite and data storage solutions. For additional business-centred guidance, the Investment, Trade & Innovation Theatre features an ‘Entrepreneurs’ Advisory Workshop’ to assist entrepreneurs looking to secure partner funding, while the theatre’s self-explanatory ‘New Technology Showcase’ provides an opportunity for exhibitors to display new products and technologies.

David Ince, Oceanology International Event Manager, Reed Exhibitions, comments: “The addition of so many complementary parallel events and areas of content alongside a world-class exhibition increases the benefits and value for all those attending and makes it an unrivalled shop window for pertinent and exciting developments in marine science and ocean technology.”

Perhaps most encouragingly, Thursday, March 15, 2018 is earmarked as Careers Day, specifically dedicated to university graduates and undergraduates who are contemplating pursuing a career in the marine sector. Students can opt to follow the ‘Oceanology International Exhibition Trail’ throughout the day, consulting face to face with representatives from exhibiting companies, and/or attend a brace of workshops. The SUT Young Professionals Panel (10.00-11.30) offers an opportunity to converse with young individuals who have already attained a foothold in one or more marine industries, while the IMarEST Careers Workshop (13.30-16.00) is intended to help students identify areas where they might be able to seek invaluable support and locate job vacancies.

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