Despite present offshore concerns, the Paris-based semi-autonomous OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) reckons the global ocean economy will double from $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion by 2030, so few were surprised to encounter any number of buoyant market conditions at this year’s biennial Ocean Business event in Southampton, UK hosted by the National Oceanography Centre.

Now in its tenth year and organised by Diversified Communications UK, the April gathering reportedly drew a record attendance of well over 5,000 visitors from more than 65 countries. Its free-to-attend agenda featured over 350 international exhibitors, a host of new product launches and 180 hours of live demonstrations, including a dozen dockside ones. Fringe activities included an EU-supported conference on Autonomous Systems and Satellite Applications and similarly-backed half-hour matchmaking arrangements for prospective business partners; careers and recruitment advice was also readily throughout all three days while the NOC, keen to promote its international reputation, flair and expertise, presided over any number of workshops and seminars.

As expected, the hydrographic industry was well to the fore not only in terms of publicly-announced contract exchanges, but also in those areas of technology used for ocean and coastal mapping activities with sensors which are now capable of producing more than 100GB of data per hour.

By David Goodfellow