ST Conference PreviewOcean Innovation 2011
The ninth annual Ocean Innovation conference will take place at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit, Canada, from October 18 to 21. Under the theme of sustainable oceans, Ocean Innovation 2011 will bring together scientists, policymakers, businesspeople and representatives from Northern Canada and circumpolar communities. Conference attendees will discuss challenges and opportunities pertaining to resource development, sovereignty, climate change, and coastal and maritime infrastructure.
Participants will share and debate current knowledge and innovations related to the sustainable development and use of ocean resources in the Arctic, with particular emphasis on the importance of traditional knowledge and innovation. The conference, an initiative of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, attracts speakers and delegates from across Canada and around the world. Ocean Innovation began in 2003 in St. Johnís and has since traveled across Canada and back again, with stops in a number of cities, including Halifax, Victoria and Rimouski. The event takes place in St. Johnís every other year.
Conference Structure and Speaker Program
The conference is programmed to introduce relevant and provocative topics centered on the latest innovations in the areas of maritime safety, efficiency of operations and sustainable ocean management. Organized as a single-stream conference with a parallel exhibition, the program is designed so delegates can attend every session to discuss, debate and share ideas.
The speaker program is by invitation only, with an emphasis on leading authorities addressing key topics related to the sustainable oceans theme. Confirmed speakers for this year include Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Arctic climate change activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Mary Simon, national Inuit leader and president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Hans Kristian Olsen, CEO of Nunaoil (Nuuk, Greenland), the national oil company of Greenland; Harry Flaherty, president of Qikiqtaaluk Corp.; Dr. Jacob Verhoef, director of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea program office for Canada; Paul Suvega, assistant deputy minister of the Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs for Nunavut, Canada; Cathy Towtongie, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.; and Martin Fortier, executive director of ArcticNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada that brings together scientists and managers of multiple disciplines to study the impacts of climate change in the coastal Canadian Arctic. Additional speakers will be announced at a later date.
The exhibition gives local, national and international businesses and organizations an opportunity to display and promote their products and services. It is also a popular gathering place for delegates and provides business and networking opportunities for both attendees and exhibitors.
The attending exhibitors as of press time included ASL Environmental Sciences, First Air, The Journal of Ocean Technology and Nunavut Tourism.
Workshop and Youth Conference
Other events include a half-day workshop focusing on remote sensing applications for Northern Canada. This workshop, presented by LOOKNorth, a newly designated Canadian Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, will focus on how Earth observation technology can be utilized in the natural resource sector.
For the first time, Ocean Innovation will incorporate a youth conference for local students focusing on ocean conservation and sustainability. This event is designed to increase awareness about marine sustainability, offer engagement activities in marine innovation and youth leadership, and connect students to the educational and professional resources required to create their success in the marine environment.
For more information on Ocean Innovation, including the latest program information, registration and accommodation details, visit www.oceaninnovation.ca.