The Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) will host a seminar for the Blue Economy at this year’s Ocean Business event on April 14 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, U.K.
Gordon Johnston, Vice Chair of FIG Commission 4 – Hydrography said, “We’ve just launched an unmissable program for those interested in reaping the benefits of the Blue Economy. From government to commercial organizations and coastal communities, the seminar ‘Blue Economy - Bridging the Gap’ helps us understand how we can all gain sustained benefits from the sea. The seminar includes outstanding speakers from all corners of the industry, but more than that - it offers delegates an opportunity to contribute and make a difference to help develop a strategy for the future.”
At a time when the industry is facing financial, geopolitical and technical challenges, the Blue Economy seminar aims to provide an opportunity for innovation, collaboration and enterprise. From the seminar, FIG and IHO intend to develop a summary position document to further advance the concept of developing and growing a Blue Economy.
Johnston continued, “The seminar couldn’t be timed better as governments are now setting policy and looking at the next stage of how to administer and manage their marine areas. We urge the industry to take part in the seminar to help us devise the best way forward.”
There will be five different sessions running at the seminar, with numerous presentations and a final discussion session to understand outcomes. Dr. Jonathan Williams, CEO of Marine South East, will be presenting an inspiring keynote speech about ‘turning aspiration into opportunity’. Using his industry experience, his presentation will explore the growth potential of the Blue Economy in terms of new markets, new customers and new technologies.
Other highlights of the seminar include a talk by Michael Jones, President of the Maritime Alliance, who will address a fundamental question: ‘How big is the Blue Economy?’ by looking at the size of the U.S. Blue Economy and BlueTech and efforts that are underway to quantify and promote them. Dr. Gordon Drummond, Project Director of Subsea UK, will provide a perspective on innovation and the offshore industry opportunities. Also of interest are success stories such as the talk to be given by Massimo Sarti, Project Director at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, which demonstrates successful fisheries management for Asia’s largest lagoon ecosystem through a combination of stakeholder collaboration and spatial data.
Looking to the future, Paul Holthus, CEO of the World Ocean Council, will discuss the need for cross-sectoral leadership and collaboration organizations to help resolve complex business challenges such as cumulative environmental impacts, conflicts in marine space and resources, and policies and regulations that do not support responsible ocean economic development.
Delegates to the Blue Economy seminar will enjoy free entrance to the Ocean Business exhibition, which provides a mix of technology and business for visitors with over 300 companies exhibiting. As in previous years, the show will include a full three-day program of hands-on training and demonstration workshops, enabling buyers to actually test drive equipment before purchasing. Also running alongside Ocean Business will be the Offshore Survey conference to address the technical and business issues facing the global field of offshore surveying. The combined events bring a lively social program, culminating in a gala dinner held at Southampton’s Guildhall on April 15.