Over to English! The language of Shakespeare is now used in the majority of the Sea Tech Week sessions, proof if it were needed that the event has a strong foothold on the international stage. The inaugural session on 11 October will be devoted to the week’s leading set of themes, Mer et Numérique (Sea and Digital). Among the speakers is American Susan Avery, President and Director Emeritus of the WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - USA). A round table will then gather together the big names in their respective domains: Benoît Pirenne IT Director, Ocean Network (Canada), Jean-Guy Fontaine (NURC/OTAN (Italy), A. Murat Eren, academic (Chicago). These experts will discuss the observation of the oceans, security and safety at sea and bioinformatics, not to mention offshore racing, represented by Kevin Escoffier, from the long established Team Banque Populaire (France).
The big question at the heart of the discussions relates to gauging how digital has changed researchers’ opinion on marine science and technologies. One thing for sure is that Western Brittany is not about to be outdone in the evolution of the scientific community. The first morning will also be an opportunity to officially launch the Global Sea Campus, a multidisciplinary approach for the development of blue growth. Grouping together the federative structures of marine science and technologies, it aims to make the tip of Brittany an unmissable global centre for the domain. After a two-year gestation period, the Global Sea Campus is entering its active phase and aims to be appropriated by this community of scientists.
International cooperation and European networks
Guest of honour at the event, Canada will be widely represented within the context of the “Ocean +” cooperation project grouping together the Technopôle Brest-Iroise and the Technopole Maritime du Québec. The two territories are also involved plans for an Institut France-Québec for maritime research. Similarly, within the scope of cooperation with the Brest metropolitan area, an Argentinian delegation is expected to talk, with a debut appearance at the event by representatives from Tierra del Fuego. Indeed, Ushuaïa’s marine community is looking to evolve in the domains of marine safety and aquaculture. These two cooperation projects are supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Europe is also a Sea Tech Week stakeholder together with, notably, Eurogoos, the European network that observes the oceans, which will come together under the aegis of the ACO conference 2016 – A Connected Ocean. Other conferences and workshops including Datacron (marine security and safety), Moqesm (marine robotics), Jerico Next (sensors), JPI Oceans (calibration – networks) and Techmar (marine technologies) are also big players in the European networks.
Immersion for all in the virtual world
Open to the world, Sea Tech Week is making it a point of honour to raise awareness among the local audience in Brest. Highly convivial, the general public are welcome to attend a special evening get-together on 13 October at the Petit Théâtre du Quartz. With free entry, it is accessible to all. Also geared around the theme of the sea and digital, it will showcase innovative technologies and digital projects developed around heritage and the sea. The main driving force behind the evening, the CERV (European Centre for Virtual Reality) will offer participants an array of spectacular virtual reconstructions thanks to the latest digital tooling with plenty of vocations highlighted, which are sure to inspire the young! It is also with this objective that Océanopolis will dedicate a whole day on 13 October to secondary school students on the subject of the sea and virtual reality.
Pro Show: an ever increasing number of exhibitors
Forty or so exhibitors will be present at the Salon Pro (Pro Show) with a particular focus on the Global Sea Campus protagonists and a space devoted to virtual reality. Visitors will be able to discover the latest technologies here (CAVE) as well as augmented reality devices. Other innovative businesses will also be in attendance that specialise in the manufacture of sensors, software solutions geared towards maritime missions, underwater instrumentation, systems dedicated to sea surveillance, inertial navigation systems and sampling equipment… For those participating in Sea Tech Week, it’s also the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and representatives from a wide variety of institutions.