20 Nov 2023

TechOceanS partners convened at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK and online for their 3rd Annual Meeting on the 1st and 2nd of November 2023. The meeting aimed to review the progress of planned activities within each work package and provide a comprehensive overview of the latest advancements and collaborative efforts within the project.

The meeting kicked off with TechOceanS Coordinator, Matt Mowlem, welcoming participants and introducing the Themes of the day - Genomics, Imaging and Optics, and Microsensors. Representatives from each Theme provided progress updates on their respective work packages, outlining key advancements made and updating on action plans for the next 12 months.

The afternoon was marked by a poster session with prominent contributions from the project’s Early Career Researchers, who delivered three-minute flash talks per poster. The interactive format facilitated knowledge exchange, offering an opportunity for questions and lively discussions.

Day two commenced with the Cross-cutting and Testing Theme outlining their plans for testing and validation activities including preparations for demonstrations focussing on aquaculture, built infrastructure (with relevance to offshore industries), and global ocean observing. Deployments are scheduled to take place in March 2024 at PLOCAN’s facilities and test sites (Canary Islands, Spain) and between May and June 2024 in Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Naples, Italy).

Finally, the Dissemination Theme, and Management and Ethics Theme shared their work packages highlighting exciting training events, knowledge sharing, and plans for future project meetings and conferences. The progress achieved and the sustained collaboration between all work packages was praised by the NOC’s project management team.

With all Themes detailing significant advancements in cutting-edge ocean observation and measurement technologies the project is making great progress as it enters into a new phase, where the emphasis now shifts to demonstration, validation, and exploitation activities. These efforts aim to push the results further along the value chain and ensure that the sensors produced by the project meet the genuine needs of real-world users.

The afternoon saw the project host a workshop on IP Management and Commercialisation which was open to participants outside the consortium by prior registration. The workshop covered crucial aspects of IP protection and commercialisation considerations, featuring speakers from the NOC commercial team, patent attorneys Dr. Nick Braddon and Dr. Jonathan Myers, and a fireside chat with industry experts including representatives from TechOceanS partners. The day concluded with one-on-one sessions wherein participants could discuss their respective research and IP concerns directly with the experts.

Throughout the two-day meeting a camera crew was on site to capture footage for the TechOceanS project video, including interviews with work package leaders and demonstrations of key instruments.