Blue Innovation Symposium Wraps Successful 2020 Event

Blue Innovation Symposium Wraps Successful 2020 Event

The Blue Innovation Symposium, a premier networking event for the Blue Economy, was held in January 2020, in Newport RI. With nearly 300 attendees and 40 sponsors, the event was a rousing success. From the quality of the speakers and presenters to breaking news from the Governor of Rhode Island’s office, as well as the presentation of the first-ever Rising Tide awards, the level of excitement at the event reflected the robust agenda.

“This was the most successful Symposium to date,” says Dr. Tobias Stapleton, Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education Programs at Salve Regina University and co-founder of the event. “The expertise of the presenters and the detail shared by them was remarkable. The event provided an incredible opportunity for learning about the state-of-the-art in sensor technology and, with ample time built-in for networking, making critical business and organizational connections.”

During the symposium, three recipients were named for the inaugural Rising Tide Awards: Dr. Jim Bellingham, director of the Center for Marine Robotics (CMR) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), was presented a Rising Tide Award in recognition of his ongoing contribution to the booming blue technology community. Dr. Tobias Stapleton presented the award.

Boston Engineering of Waltham, Massachusetts and GeoSpectrum Technologies of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia were also presented Rising Tide Awards in recognition of their contributions to the industry. Greg Leatherman of Ocean News & Technology (ON&T) presented both company awards.

Dr. Bellingham delivered the event’s keynote address, where he discussed the communication challenges faced by the ocean community in communicating with the rest of the world, the societal drivers changing the ocean industry, and the new ocean industries rapidly emerging. He also touched upon the rapid technological advances that are giving us unprecedented access to the ocean.    

A surprise announcement was made by Stefan Pryor, RI Secretary of Commerce. He announced that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo worked with the leadership of offshore wind developer Ørsted, to bring its United States Innovation Hub to Providence, Rhode Island. The Innovation Hub will officially open in spring 2020.

This announcement coincided with Governor Gina Raimondo’s State of the State address delivered the previous evening where she announced that Rhode Island will become the first state in the union to use 100% renewable, sustainable energy by 2030.

Other notable speakers included Alan Leonardi, NOAA Director of Ocean Exploration and Research, David Shea, Vice President of Engineering, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc., and Eivind Alling, VP QHSE & Integration, Americas, Kongsberg Maritime, Inc.

Sponsors included Boston Engineering, WHOI, L3Harris, FLIR, Hydroid, Innovate Newport, and GeoSpectrum Technologies, among others. 

The 2020 event was organized by Salve Regina University, The Consulate-General of Canada in Boston, and TSC Strategic, an ocean industry marketing and media agency whose portfolio of publications includes Ocean News & Technology (ON&T).


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