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picto Press release - 11/10/2016

The curtain rises on Sea Tech Week!

Over 1,200 conference participants are expected in Brest for the 10th edition of the International Marine Science and Technology Week with its “Sea and digital” theme. Thanks to its international dimension, the event is playing host to a series of unique events with a wealth of new features presented within the context of conferences, workshops and a Pro Show. With the official inauguration of the Global Sea Campus, the north-west tip of Brittany ranks as one of the leaders in the development of research into the oceans. As a grand finale, Sea Tech Week is offering the inhabitants of Brest a special general public soirée focusing on maritime heritage and virtual reality.

Under the sign of Big Data

Big Data forms the very backbone of this latest edition of Sea Tech Week. Indeed, digital data has become so vast that it’s revolutionising storage, sharing and analysis techniques and crucially it is changing scientists’ views. The main challenge consists of equipping oneself with the necessary tools to process this vast array of information so as to better observe the oceans. Two major international conferences are based around this theme: ACO 2016, a collaborative project grouping together specialists from various disciplines and DatAcron, a European programme aiming to create a real time data management structure applied to the merchant navy or fishing domains.

The Global Sea Campus is up and running

The inaugural session on 11 October heralds the official launch of the Global Sea Campus, a project launched at the instigation of the Brest metropolis, Europôle Mer, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Technopôle Brest-Iroise. It gathers together universities, engineering colleges, businesses, national research establishments and local authorities in a multidisciplinary approach geared around the development of blue growth. With Sea Tech Week, the Global Sea Campus is entering the active phase in its bid to be appropriated by the science community.

Major international firsts

A new event, Floating Wind Power Atlantic Forum, supported by the regions of Brittany and Pays de Loire, is being organised within the scope of Marine Renewable Energies (MRE). It is welcoming over 300 participants and international experts from Japan, Portugal and Norway to work on the development of floating wind power. This first annual forum will enable a closer examination of existing projects and debates on the feedback received. Moreover, within the context of the Brest metropolis’ international scientific cooperation, a delegation from Canada, guest of honour, is expected, as are a host of Argentinean representatives from the science community in Ushuaia. Meantime Europe is present under the aegis of Eurogoos, the European network for observing the oceans. A number of conferences and workshops also have a European dimension.

Another major first at Sea Tech Week is the participation of the French Association for Virtual Reality during its special annual days, organised with the European Centre for Virtual Reality (CERV), based in Brest. Three formats are on offer: a scientific symposium open to young researchers, participation in the Pro Show in order to present innovative devices and the hosting of a general public soirée.

Immersion for all in the virtual world

The inhabitants of Brest are invited to participate in a special evening offered to the general public on 13 October. Free of charge, it is accessible to all and will take place at the Petit Théâtre du Quartz. Under the aegis of digital, it will enable visitors to familiarise themselves with the innovative techniques and the virtual projects placed at the service of heritage and the sea, with the focus on underwater archaeology. The idea is to offer a moment of sharing, developing the prestige of Brest’s extensive expertise and using international underwater archaeology methods with spectacular visual reconstructions. This same impetus has inspired Océanopolis to devote the whole day on 13 October to the sea and virtual reality in a project aimed at secondary school students.

Forty plus exhibitors at the Pro Show

Over forty exhibitors will welcome those wishing to attend the conference, with a special place set aside for virtual reality. Here visitors will be able to discover the latest technologies (CAVE) and augmented reality devices. Other innovative companies will be present at the Show, specialised in the manufacture of sensors, software solutions geared towards maritime missions, underwater instrumentation, systems dedicated to marine surveillance, inertial navigation systems and sampling equipment… For those participating in Sea Tech Week, it’s also an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and representatives from a variety of institutions, with the notable presence of promoters from the Global Sea Campus. 

Mission accomplished for the first Ocean Hackathon

As a prelude to Sea Tech Week, the Technopôle Brest-Iroise organised France’s very first Ocean Hackathon from 8 to 9 October. Around sixty participants, split into teams, spent 48 hours getting their heads around the data held by the SHOM (Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service), Nautisme en Finistère, Ifremer, the Agency for protected marine areas as well as the IUEM (European University Institute of the Sea). The idea behind the project was the creation of unique applications benefiting and even reinventing our use of the sea. In this way, six projects were drawn up and judged on their technical prowess, their environmental role and their economic viability. The winning team created a project called “visualising and understanding what happens on and under the sea”. Naturally, this welter of ideas may well be taken further with the creation of innovative businesses. In this instance, the Technopôle will be sure to support the teams every step of the way.