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Ocean Innovation 2010

The eighth annual Ocean Innovation (OI) conference and exhibition will be held at the Delta St. John's Hotel and Convention Centre in St. John's, Canada, from October 17 through 20. The conference will bring together key representatives from government, industry and academia to discuss and debate the present and future state of underwater vehicle technology, conference organizers said. This year's area of focus will be underwater vehicles, and the program will address four subthemes: engineering, exploration, enterprise and education.

About Ocean Innovation
OI began in 2003 with the theme of 'Three Oceans, Two Days, One Community.' Since then it has traveled across Canada and back again, with stops in a variety of cities, including Halifax, Victoria and Rimouski. The event takes place in St. John's every two years and aims to engage the technical and innovative cluster of ocean technology groups within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the organizers said.

The conference program is carefully designed to ensure that participants have the chance to discuss and debate a variety of issues related to a particular theme, according to the organizers. The speaker program is by invitation only to ensure that the speakers who are chosen will address key topics around the selected theme, they said, and the conference's single-stream design also helps to foster the exchange of ideas, since every delegate is encouraged to attend every talk. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Albert Bradley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The organizers said that they make a concerted effort to involve all members of the community, including government, academia, industry and nongovernmental organizations, with the belief that all four have key roles to play and that it is important to give them a meeting place to discuss and debate timely issues, the organizers said.

Exhibition and Activities
The event is held on a small scale so that it can remain an intimate gathering with a focus on networking, according to the organizers. However, while remaining small, the conference consistently attracts between 250 and 300 delegates and sells out the 30 to 40 spots on the exhibitor floor, they said.

OI 2010 will provide more hands-on activities for participants than ever before, the organizers said. This year's attendees will find many interactive exhibitor stations, team-building networking breaks and, for those who sign up early, an opportunity to come on board the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland's MV Anne S. Pierce for an encounter with some of today's leading-edge underwater technology, the organizers said.

Some special events taking place over the week include an icebreaker session on October 17 at the Marine Institute's Flume Tank that will feature the 'ROV in a Bag' program, where participants can create their own remotely operated vehicles from a small kit, and an underwater vehicles demo workshop on October 20, an on-water demonstration for industry to show its wares off among the Bell Island shipwrecks. The eighth annual Gala Dinner will take place on October 18 at the convention center with guest speaker Gwyn Griffiths of the National Oceanography Centre.

Throughout the conference and special events, some 25 presenters from around the world will address delegates.

Ocean Industries Week
In addition to the OI conference, attendees will be able to enjoy activities associated with the city of St. John's Ocean Industries Week. Throughout the week, the city will highlight the economic importance of the ocean industries and acknowledge the innovative and specialized work being undertaken in the city of St. John's.

For more information or for conference program updates, registration and accommodation details, please visit the event website at www.oceaninnovation.ca.

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