News Release

REF NO.: 16

SUBJECT: International conference explores technologies to navigate the North

DATE: October 16, 2017

Delegates at the IALA’s E-Navigation Underway (North America) 2017 conference and the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University’s annual Ocean Innovation 2017 conference will collaborate this week to enhance technology and innovation for polar navigation.

The joint conference, taking place Oct. 16-18 at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John's, will explore e-navigation infrastructure, ice navigation, passage planning, sea traffic management and governmental programs and plans related to the Polar Code. The Polar Code was adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2014 to regulate shipping in polar regions, principally relating to ice navigation and ship design.

“We want to inform participants about products and initiatives that will address safety, security, and stewardship in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions,” said Catherine Dutton, conference chair, and head, School of Maritime Studies, Marine Institute. “We are approaching this joint conference from a national and an international perspective, giving everyone a voice in what is needed to operate in these regions and how we can work together to develop and implement effective laws and guidelines.”

More than100 officials from coast guard authorities, maritime administrations, shipping companies and pilotage authorities will study new technologies, such as augmented reality navigation, risk assessment systems and innovative satellite imaging technology and cloud processing for improved e-navigation. A final report of the conference’s conclusions and recommendations will be submitted to IALA for distribution to appropriate agencies worldwide.

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is contributing $15,000 in funding to enable the Marine Institute to host the conference. “This conference will profile Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing ocean technology industry, while providing an excellent forum to share expertise related to innovation in polar navigation,” said Navdeep Bains, minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for ACOA. “Through the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, ACOA continues to work with partners such as Memorial University to support initiatives that will develop a more robust, innovative Atlantic economy and help create good jobs for the middle class.”

The Marine Institute will also host a Government of Canada Oceans Protection Plan workshop showcasing interlinked Arctic initiatives being undertaken by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., World Wildlife Fund Canada, Oceans North and the federal government. Participants will also identify opportunities for further collaboration between government, industry, communities and other potential partners.

The Marine Institute’s annual Ocean Innovation conference explores the latest innovations in the areas of maritime safety, efficiency of operations and sustainable ocean management.

The IALA is a non-profit technical association that brings international navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants and scientific and training institutes together to harmonize navigational aids worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost effective while protecting the environment.

The full conference program is available online.

- 30 -