San Diego, CA- 21/02/2023: Following a four-year gap due to the pandemic, Oceanology International Americas (OiA) burst back onto the ocean technology scene last week with a perfectly pitched and well received balance of debate, innovation and thought leadership.
Event Director David Ince commented: “Exhibiting companies provided the bedrock of a diverse physical showcase of ocean technology, engineering and science solutions, experienced by an international audience hailing from 27 countries, and a total attendance of 2,594 over the three days of the show.”
In the Ocean Futures Theatre, industry luminaries including Dr Rick Spinrad (NOAA), Chris Ostrander (MTS), Andy Hill (BP), Steve Hall (Seabed2030), Brad Ack (Ocean Visions) and Captain Kate Hermsdorfer (US Navy) held rapt audiences on a wide array of ocean technology subjects. Some of the focus areas for OiA 2023 included uncrewed vessel operations, observation & sensing, naval oceanography, and ocean carbon sequestration, all with a practical focus on work that can be begun today.
In the Technical Conference, discussions on Remote Asset Monitoring, Marine Mammal & Fishery Concerns in Offshore Wind and Case Studies in Coastal Protection all drew lively exchanges.
David Ince continued: “We have come to the end of a really successful return to San Diego and it’s been great to see the different networks within the Oceanology community come together to socialise, meet new people and of course develop business opportunities on the exhibit floor. Our Technical Conference and Ocean Futures Theatre were busy all week and the level and diversity of speakers across a variety of different Keynote Panels and Industry Dialogues has set the bar for future Oceanology events. We’ve heard from a wide range of Industry stakeholders including NOAA, IOC-UNESCO, Scripps, US Naval Oceanographic Command, MTS, SUT, the Canadian Super Cluster, BOEM, the US Department of Energy and so much more, all helping to map, direct and develop future Ocean-focused strategies across business, industry, science and regulatory endeavours.”
San Diego in itself is a massive draw for the Ocean Tech community, thanks in part to its long history as the US Navy’s West coast hub. The area’s sheer range of expertise across all sectors of ocean technology is best summed up by Matt Classen, Executive Director at TMA BlueTech, a non-profit industry association and cluster organizer for the San Diego ocean and water technologies community, and one of the largest blue tech clusters in the world: “I truly enjoyed my experience at Oceanology International Americas. The quality of the speakers was fantastic, and I had the opportunity to connect with several high-level executives from cutting-edge BlueTech companies from around the world. I’ll look forward to the next Oceanology in London next year!
For Sidus Solutions, a San Diego headquartered manufacturer of underwater lights, cameras, positioners, lasers, and inspection systems, OiA’s magnetic draw of potential clients from the four corners of the world was welcomed: “This year’s international attendance was most impressive. Reed [RX Global- the event organisers] also did a great job pulling in the local defense clients. With the continued support from Reed, OiA will be another must attend event,” said Leonard Pool, Sidus’ MD.
Offshore digital video and inspection systems specialists Digital Edge on the other hand, travelled all the way from Cumbria, UK to exhibit at OiA. “From announcing our new technology partnership with Harvest Technology and catching up with new and old contacts, the Digital Edge Subsea team have had a great exhibition at OiA”, said Mark Thwaite, COO at Digital Edge Subsea. “We had some great conversations about our recently announced partnership. It was very interesting to see the new technologies being displayed, especially the great array of Micro ROVs.”
For a significant proportion of exhibitors this year, the event presented an opportunity to meet clients in person, in many cases for the first time. Nico Woods, Technical Sales Manager at Ocean Innovations said: “The quality of attendees has been high, and of an international nature. We finally got to meet a new client who had travelled from Chile.”
Judy Conibear of Hydrospace Group was also impressed with the conversations that were had on-booth, which pointed at potential clients rather than curious browsers; a critical distinction for Hydrospace: “We have been delighted by the quality of attendees, clearly these people are in the market as their questions have been researched and they are fully engaged.”
One of the liveliest areas of the show floor proved to be the Canada Pavilion, making its welcomed return to OiA, supported by a delegation of 75 people across 43 companies.
Cathy Williams at Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) said: “Early indication is that high quality meetings have been had with follow-ups to come. We hosted a successful reception which offered our cohort a great opportunity to network in a more relaxed atmosphere and continue those high-level conversations. It was fantastic to have Canada well represented in the opening plenary as Canadian Super Cluster CEO Kendra MacDonald gave a passionate speech about the Blue Economy. We look forward to bringing more companies with us as we look forward to Oceanology International in London in March 2024.”
David Ince drew the line under what for organisers RX Global has been a very encouraging return to the US West Coast: “I’d like to thank all of the key stakeholder, supporters, exhibiting companies, visitors and delegates and look forward to catching some of you in London for Oceanology International in March 2024, before we return to San Diego in 2025!”