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XPRIZE Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave. Credit: XPRIZE
XPRIZE Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave. Credit: XPRIZE

Press release -

Oceanology International 2018: Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE announcements to feature among highlights of packed Oi18 conference programme

  • Oceanology International London 2018 conference schedule set to include awarding of Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE finalists and Milestone Prize winners

London, 6 March 2018 – The participation of Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE in the world-leading Oceanology International 2018 marine science exhibition and conference in the ExCeL, London (Tuesday, March 13-Thursday, March 15) adds an extra incentive to visit an already pivotal event. Now in its 49th year, Oceanology International is renowned as an invaluable global maritime technology business networking hub, with 8,500 industry professionals from more than 79 countries anticipated to attend this year.

The 36-month Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition was launched in December 2015, with a $7 million prize purse, and challenges teams from around the world to advance deep-sea technologies for autonomous, rapid and high-resolution ocean exploration. In addition to acting as headline sponsors of the half-day Ocean Futures Forum (Tuesday, March 13, 09.30-13.30, Platinum Lounge) and Catch The Next Wave: Frontiers of Exploration (Thursday, March 15, 09.30-18.00, Platinum Lounge), XPRIZE will be represented at Oi18 by Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., who will be joining the panel discussion on the technology, science and sustainable operations required to support the Ocean Economy in 2030, during the Ocean Futures Forum on the event’s opening day.

As well as participating in this discussion on the future challenges and technological requirements of­ the Blue Economy, Dr. Virmani will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave on Thursday, March 15 between 16.00-17.00 to announce the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE finalists and Milestone Prize winners who will be going on to the final round of the competition.

XPRIZE is also represented in the Ocean ICT: Novel Systems Using Ocean Data conference session, with Matthew Mulrennan, Director - Ocean Initiative, XPRIZE, presenting A Wave of Abundance from Big Ocean Data - Demo the Winning Mobile Apps from XPRIZE's Big Ocean Button Challenge in South Gallery Room 9, between 15:00 – 16:45 on March 14.

Other highlights at Catch The Next Wave include Orla Doherty, BBC Producer of The Deep and Our Blue Planet, talking about the imaging technology used to capture the wonders of the ocean, Pen Hadow, Director of Arctic Mission (ocean life research) and 90ºNorth Unit (ecosystem protection), about the future technology required to explore and protect Arctic ocean life, and Chris German MBE, Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, talking about the frontiers of technology enabling ocean exploration on earth and other planets.

Among the other speakers at Catch The Next Wave will be diver, presenter and explorer Rory Golden. “My presentation will touch on the development of the technology used to find Titanic,” Rory explains, “the early ideas, the successful 1985 discovery, subsequent expeditions, including my own, and the forthcoming ones planned this year.” Tickets for Catch The Next Wave and the Ocean Futures Forum costs £100 + VAT for each event, and can be purchased at registration.

Central to the Oi18 conference programme is a series of linked, free-to-attend Technical Tracks which will enable participants to follow given themes in detail. These range from tracks devoted to Hydrography, Geophysics & Geotechnics, Unmanned Multi-Vehicles & Vessels and Oil & Gas to tracks given over to Marine Renewables, Underwater Imaging & Metrology and Navigation & Positioning. Conference Manager Ellen Burgess says: “With an overarching agenda to confront a range of technical, practical, environmental and fiscal marine science issues while trading insights and seeking solutions, the conference schedule draws upon a wealth of accumulated knowledge and expertise.”

Key conference presentations on Tuesday, March 13 include ‘Our Land Under the Sea’ (10.25-10.45), helmed by Richard Salisbury, senior Consultant, Fugro; ‘Integrating Unmanned Systems into Maritime Mission Systems’ (13.05-13.20), hosted by Tim Munn, Maritime Autonomous Systems Technical Lead, Thales UK; and ‘Ocean Farm 1 – The World’s First “Smart” Fish Farm’ (11.50-12.10) with Thor Hukkelås, Director Aquaculture R&D, Kongsberg Maritime. The latter presentation, is one of several examining emerging solutions for operating aquaculture in more exposed environments.

Meanwhile, conference presentations scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 include ‘Copernicus: Satellites and Services for Marine Environment Monitoring and Maritime Safety’ (13.45-14.05) with Fabienne Jacq, European Commission; ‘Inside Mission Control – Challenges of Over-the-Horizon Autonomy’ (15.35-15.50), presented by James Cowles, Commercial Technical Sales Manager, ASV Global; and ‘Considerations for Dynamic Subsea Laser Scanning’ (11.20-11.45) with Gordon Beattie, Survey Innovation Lead, DOF Subsea UK. “I’ll be discussing whether new technology works straight out of the box, or if there’s work involved to reap the benefits,” Gordon remarks.

Thursday, March 15 is Oi18’s designated ‘Careers Day’ featuring the SUT Women In Industry panel session (10-00-12.00). On the same day, a few key technical presentations will include ‘A Deep Offshore Geodetic Network’ (13.20-13.45), presented by Frederic Auger, Chief Surveyor, TOTAL; ‘Computer Vision Survey of Offshore Structures’ (15.15-15.35) with Diego Carvalho, Vision Engineer, Fugro Intersite; and ‘Towards Resilient Positioning’ (11.20-11.45) with Dr Nick Ward, Research Director, General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK & Ireland. “Global Navigation Satellite Systems have become essential for maritime positioning,” says Dr Ward, “but they are vulnerable to disruption. There is a need for an integrated approach to positioning using all available means.”

In addition to the insights provided by the exhibition and main conference schedule, delegates can also attend the Entrepreneurs’ Advisory Workshop in the Investment, Trade & Innovation Theatre, intended to assist providers of new technologies in sourcing partner funding. The theatre will also host a New Technology Showcase on Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15, while the Situational Awareness for the Spill Prevention & Response Community technical session on Wednesday, March 14 (11.30-13.00) brings together Oi18 and the co-located Interspill oil spill exhibition and conference.

To register for Oi18, visit


For further information, please contact:

Sara Andrade 

Marketing Manager, Energy & Marine Group 

Reed Exhibitions 

Tel: +44 (0)20 8439 5226

Jules Riegal/Karen Bartlett

Saltwater Stone

Tel: +44 (0)1202 669244

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About the Oceanology International Portfolio

The Oceanology International portfolio of events offer a global forum where industry, academia and government share knowledge and connect with the marine technology and ocean science community, improving their strategies for measuring, exploiting, protecting and operating in the world’s oceans. First established in 1969, the flagship event in London features the world’s largest exhibition for marine science and technology, multiple agenda-setting technical conferences, and a visiting vessels and waterside demonstration program.

The Oceanology International portfolio includes:

  • Oceanology International China: Developed with government and industry associations, Oceanology International China provides organizations with the opportunity to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing offshore energy and marine industries. A successful move for Oi China 2017 from Shaghai to Qingdao sawover 200 exhibitors and more than 6,600 domestic and overseas attendees from 21 different countries attending. OI China 2018 (23-25 October) will also take place in Qingdao, the largest city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China, the wealthiest city in Shandong Province. Qingdao is a demonstration area for marine ecology protection and a pilot city for marine technology and has key economic links with Ontario & British Columbia,
  • Oceanology International: Oceanology International is the leading conference and exhibition dedicated to serving all professionals working in the global ocean science and marine technology sector. The first Oceanology International was held in Brighton, in 1970. Today, its home is at ExCeL London. The OI2016 exhibition was the largest ever in the show’s 47-year history with over 8,500m2 occupied by 520 exhibiting companies from 33 countries.
  • Catch the Next Wave conference: Now in its fifth edition, Catch the Next Wave is an exclusive conference taking place alongside or as part of the Oceanology International events globally. The most recent program in London took place at the prestigious Royal Institution, and the North American edition formed part of the OiA conference program on February 16th 2017. The event takes a longer-term view of the capabilities that will shape our future ability to explore, understand, exploit and protect the oceans. Catch the Next Wave 2018 is taking place alongside Oceanology International 2018 This one day programme (Thursday 15 March) will explore the future of disruptive exploratory technology and consider opportunities for technology transfer from outside the marine industry and is run in association with The Explorers Club.
  • Oceanology International Americas (February 25-27 2019, San Diego Convention Center, USA): The successful launch event of the biennial series took place in 2017 where over 1,775 unique attendees including over 160 exhibiting companies participated.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 30 countries. In 2015, Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 40 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across

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