Shipbuilding ‘nerd gathering’ in September
The countdown has begun towards the very first three-day conference dedicated exclusively to shipbuilding ‘nerdery’. Named Ship Technology Days, it will kick off at the Sjøborg House of Culture in Ulsteinvik on 13-15th September.
Participants are expected from all over the world and the organisers hope it will become an annual event.
“There’s a bunch of high-level conferences dedicated to shipbuilding, but this one is purely for industry nerds. The focus is on developing domain knowledge and they’ll be able to dive into the details they’re interested in,” says Daniel Garden, who heads up GCE Blue Maritime Cluster, Norway’s largest shipbuilding cluster organisation.
Conference co-organisers are Ulstein Business Forum and E-Lass (the European network for lightweight applications at sea), which boasts over 300 member companies in 32 countries.
Ulstein Business Forum managing director Anna Klara Måseide says that while E-Lass has arranged similar, but smaller, gatherings for some years, Ship Technology Days will establish one larger conference where experts can meet, share knowledge and build their network.
“Our core concept is to democratise knowledge. We firmly believe you can widen your horizons even further if you dare to share your experience,” she says.
Delegates will be free to explore different topics at a more granular level than at other maritime gatherings. “That includes the environment, autonomy, digitalization, autodynamics, hydrodynamics, alternative fuel sources, energy efficiency and safety, among others,” Garden says.
“It’s also unique in that companies can register as presenters and themselves choose what they want to talk about and why it’s relevant.”
Forget the sales pitch
The conference is aimed squarely at developers and the people who create shipbuilding products, not customers and sales contracts.
“We expect participants to cover the whole spectrum from ship designers and engineers to hydrodynamicists, weight estimators, software developers and system integrators, to name a few,” says Garden.
Even though it’s going to be three days of nerdery, there’ll be plenty time for socializing too.
“There’ll be industry tours, boat trips and, not least, good food and good company. Networking is half the fun,” says Måseide.
While registrations from the E-Lass network are already coming in, she hopes regional and national Norwegian experts will also take the time to come to Ulsteinvik in September.
“Through the conference we aim to give Norwegian professionals access to international colleagues and thereby forge strong relations beyond our borders,” she says.