Leading figures from the marine science and ocean technology community will focus on the key themes of climate change, meeting future energy needs and ensuring environmental and civil security at a global gathering in London next March.
The detailed technical programme for the Oceanology International conference and exhibition, the largest meeting of its kind in the world, is now available and features an outstanding line-up of speakers. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), alongside the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), has delivered an agenda-setting conference programme under the theme of ‘Technology, Sustainability and the Oceans'.
The event, to be held from 11th-13th March 2008 at the London ExCeL venue, is the premier global forum for the marine science and ocean technology community, with its proactive conference plenary and technical sessions running alongside an outstanding exhibition.
Dr Ralph Rayner, Conference Chairman, said: "Oceanology International is a global event and the selected themes for the conference are in keeping with this. The themes of climate change, meeting future demands for energy, and ensuring environmental and civil security are closely interconnected. They have been selected to allow the international marine science and technology community to showcase how it is contributing to the pressing global challenges of meeting future demands for energy at the same time as mitigating and adapting to climate change and ensuring protection of the environment and civil security."
He added: "Those attending the plenary and conference sessions will take away an increased awareness of the vital role that marine science and technology must play. In the exhibition hall, meanwhile, attendees will be able to see how the marine science and technology community is rising to these challenges through the development of new products and services".
"One of the key characteristics of Oi08 is that it brings together a diverse range of exhibitors who provide products and services suited to a range of applications and market sectors. The conference aims to complement the exhibition by showing how exhibitor's technologies and services are being directed to meeting the needs of emerging markets associated with pressing areas of global concern."
Opening Plenary Session To Lead The Way
A scene-setting plenary session on Day 1 will feature keynote speakers exploring the four conference themes - Energy from the Oceans, The Oceans and Climate Change, Environmental and Civil Security. The subsequent technical session will develop the theme of Energy from the Oceans, while Day 2's attention will fall on The Oceans and Climate Change, and will feature the Oceanology Distinguished Lecture. The final day will focus on Environmental and Civil Security. Each day a wealth of scientific and technical papers will demonstrate how the marine engineering, science and technology sectors are helping to deliver solutions.
Contributing to all of the conference themes is the need for comprehensive and sustained observations of the marine environment. One of the greatest challenges facing the marine science and technology community is completing and sustaining a global capability for ocean observation and forecasting - the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The need for permanent monitoring of the oceans and coastal seas gives rise to a wealth of opportunities for new and improved sensors and instruments, communication technologies and data management and analysis techniques.
Professor Ed Hill, Director of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK commented: "In a key paper from the National Oceanography Centre we have described the ocean-observing array at 26oN to monitor the Atlantic overturning circulation. This paper will demonstrate the crucial importance of sustained observing systems and technologies which enable us to monitor decadal changes and to quantify natural variability, which will be so important in developing our future responses to climate change.
"The ocean is variable at all scales ‘Local to global - Milliseconds to Millennia' - this is the challenge of ocean observing being met by new monitoring technologies."
In terms of environmental and civil security, the conference strand dedicated to this global issue will explore how marine science and ocean technology underpins the protection of the environment and helps to ensure the security of offshore operations, maritime trade and coastal populations. Ocean acidification and the progressive warming of the seas add a global dimension to the pressures on the marine environment, while increased and often unsustainable use of marine resources, and the impact of rapid growth in coastal population, make effective management of coastal areas ever more complex.
Rob Balloch, Strategic Development Director at Sonardyne, said: "The protection and surveillance of our maritime borders and assets has become a global issue. Demand for capability that can safeguard against attack, smuggling and incursion is being driven both by legislation and confirmed threats. The development of innovative solutions and hybrids of core capability that have been successfully developed for the oceanographic and oil and gas industry will be presented at Oi08."
With just over 3 months to go until Oi08, more than 95% of the total exhibition space (nearly 6,500 square metres) has been sold, with nearly 400 exhibitors from more than 20 different countries to participate. Also featuring will be international pavilions from countries such as Canada, the United States of America, The Netherlands and Spain. Exhibiting companies will include Fugro, Acergy, Balmoral Offshore Engineering, Teledyne, Kongsberg Maritime, Sonardyne, IxSEA, DOF Subsea ASA, CodaOctopus, Datawell, the Macartney Group, BAE Systems, Reson AS and UTEC Survey.