For five decades, Oceanology International (Oi) has been the event to view products, gain knowledge and exchange ideas in the ocean science and tech sector, and following a 4-year hiatus, the eagerly-anticipated event returned to London’s ExCel Centre yesterday.
Euan Murray and Samuel Stanton are Chief Commercial Officer and Sector Head, Marine and Energy respectively at first-time exhibitor NatureMetrics. The company has developed a clever and efficient eDNA sampling system that enables all marine organisms that have passed through an area of water in the last 24 hours to be identified and recorded quickly and easily by unskilled personnel. “It’s proving to be a great show for us,” says Murray. “Because we’re such a new offering it’s important we can show, not tell potential customers how easy it is to use our test kits.” Stanton is just as positive about the Oi experience: “Just this morning we’ve had visitors to our stand from Canada, Germany, France, USA and Austria. A typical customer would be any offshore energy developer with a serious stake in its corporate social responsibility, and with interest from Orsted and RWE today, and BP booked in for a meeting tomorrow, we can’t fault the quality of visitors Oi is providing.”
Over at the Blueprint Labs stand we found Sales Manager James Spinks busy demonstrating the company’s innovative new Reach Bravo 7 manipulator to two potential clients from Italy’s Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn. Augusto Passarelli, one of the potential clients who work for the government-funded marine research institute, was marvelling at how intuitive the operating system was for this effective tool. Passarelli says, “It’s only by actually picking up this water bottle off the desk here at Oi we can see how the technology of these manipulators has moved so far forward in a few short years.” The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn needs the 450-metre arm to be rated at 600 metres for its purposes, but for James Spinks, that’s not necessarily a problem. Spinks takes up the story: “This is what we’ve missed in the period of no shows for the last few years. That critical feedback from potential customers. I will go back to our tech guys and explain how we’ve got real interest for a 600-metre depth-rated manipulator, how it will open up a significant new market for us. They may well develop this and we may well be back at Oi in 2 years with a shiny new 600-metre-rated product.”
Sam MacDonald, Managing Director at long-serving Canadian exhibitor Deep Trekker Inc, was also singing the praises of the hands-on opportunities provided at Oi. “We’ve been positioned well during the pandemic, and business even picked up for us, as the inspection and maintenance work on critical infrastructure that our vehicles can cost-effectively provide does not stop for anything. But this business is mainly from ongoing contracts and clients we already know. We bring our demonstration tank when we can to events, and always bring it to Oi. This provides that crucial introduction to the new customers that every business needs. This year, as always, the tank has been a hit with show visitors, who can pick up the controls, see how easy it is to operate and we can see it click in their brains; an easy answer to a problem that their operation has had, sometimes for years. This Oi we’ve had positive visits from the Royal Navy, Dutch Navy, space and defence companies, as well as shipping companies, fire and rescue organisations and even a commercial diver.”
For Seaber, a French start-up that was only created in 2020, with its distinctive range of pink autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the event was all about making a splash with a new product in an industry it already knows well. Julien Cau, Director at Seaber, says, “We chose Oi to hold our big commercial launch and the event has struck us as having excellent prospects in terms of both quality and quantity; definitely an event that’s in our calendar for a return visit in 2 years’ time!”
Show organiser for RX Global David Ince summed up day two at Oi: “Where day 1 was all about our industry making and re-making connections and being wowed by new product launches, Day 2 is where lots of the real business takes place. Throughout the show venue at ExCel, deals have been inked and plans made for key maritime operations. With a day still to go on the live show and Oi Connect poised to take over the baton next week we can safely say that Oi is back with a vengeance.”
Oi Connect, a virtual meetings platform powered by Teledyne, will run alongside Oceanology International at the live show, and for those who can’t make the event in person, Oi Connect Virtual will run from 22-23 March 2022. Oi Connect draws together the ocean tech and science community on a digital platform that brings the three key players in the industry together: businesses, academics and government.
Oi Connect invites attendees and exhibitors to connect with each other using an AI-driven meetings platform.
Oi Connect is built on four pillars that will enable visitors and exhibitors to be successful: Networking, Sourcing, Meeting and Learning.
With a personal dashboard, you are in control of your experience. Search for suppliers, send meeting requests to exhibitors, schedule your conference attendance, get recommendations and manage your entire Connect experience. It’s also easy for you to tailor meetings to suit your needs and time zone, as we know your time is important to you.
At Oi Connect, it’s easy to meet with and discover suppliers from around the world who are looking to provide you with solutions that will help drive your business forward.
Oceanology International runs until 16:30 on the 17thMarch and is completely free to attend. Register here for Oi Connect or your Oi entry badge.