We are very pleased that you have joined us for the 1st annual Maritime Collaboration Summit & Exposition as part of San Diego Maritime Week Nov. 14-20. Hopefully you visited the Maritime Science Expo over the Nov. 14-15 weekend, attended the Maritime Gala Dinner on Nov. 16, and will attend Maritime Demo Day on Nov. 19.
The Maritime Alliance was launched in January 2007 to organize the local maritime technology industry, one of the largest clusters in the world, with companies ranging from providing communications to sensors to robotics. Over the last 3 years we have put on events to get to know and promote the industry. Over the last 2 months we have been contacting companies to become part of the first Maritime Technology Cluster Map. We have identified over 100 maritime tech companies plus multiple government, private and university labs and we continue to add names.
The ocean is a major contributor to the world economy. It provides low-cost transportation – 90% of global trade is carried by sea. Over the millennia it has fed us, provided energy and raw materials, moderated our temperature, and let us enjoy it in a multitude of ways. Yet there is much to explore – 70.8% of the world’s surface is ocean, which given its average depth, means that 99% of habitable earth is underwater and we have examined less that 10% of that.
“California’s Ocean Economy” published in July 2005 was the most expansive study of its kind in the U.S. Based on statistics from 2000, it found that California had the largest Ocean Economy in the U.S. with a gross state product (GSP) of $42.9 billion representing 408,000 jobs (700,000 jobs with multiplier effect). The 19 coastal counties – the “Coastal Economy” – with 77% of California’s population produced 86% of the total state economic activity ($1.15 trillion). California represented 19% of the U.S. Ocean Economy. The study focused entirely on the traditional maritime community – the fast growing maritime technology industry is on top of those already impressive numbers.
San Diego is a historical maritime city that grew up around a magnificent natural harbor. There is a vibrant, visible maritime industry – from fishing to ship building. But there is also the heretofore largely “invisible” marine technology industry. This industry is invisible in almost every major city around the world because local sales typically represent 1-3% of total revenue, therefore, executives don’t typically belong to the local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club. They are on planes and at conferences around the world making contacts and doing business.
The Maritime Alliance’s tag line is “Promoting Blue Tech & Blue Jobs.” Our goals are to continue organizing and encouraging the maritime community in San Diego while reaching out internationally to promote collaboration. This is truly a global industry – no company or country will develop all the technologies and/or control all the resources. Multinational collaboration at academic, business, and government levels will be essential to create a win-win environment.
The two-day Maritime Collaboration Summit will bring together the highly diverse regional maritime community to promote product innovation and project advancement, and foster business opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally. Day One will focus on traditional maritime stakeholders including the historic waterfront, maritime defense, maritime museums, Port of San Diego, shipbuilding, and the Navy. Day Two will concentrate on newer opportunities including aquaculture, biomedicine, ocean energy and international collaboration. Both days will include speakers, panel discussions and networking. The exposition will run parallel to both days – don’t forget to spend time with the exhibitors!
In the program you will find a directory of maritime technology companies located in San Diego county. It is important that we identify and promote the local maritime tech sector – it is key to developing major new industries. We ask your help in identifying additional companies/entities that we missed. We will also be creating a listing for maritime technology companies around the world – more about that in the future.
We are honored and very pleased to welcome our global government and private sector partners. The international maritime community has recognized San Diego as a leading technology cluster. This is evidenced by the significant number of companies, government agencies, and universities attending from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and other countries. In particular, we are expecting two maritime missions from Canada – one from British Columbia and one from Newfoundland. They have made the journey – some from very far away – to San Diego to explore ways to collaborate. Please join us in welcoming them and we urge everyone from San Diego to be an Ambassador. Please speak with as many of our guests as you can – there is opportunity in every conversation with a group as diverse, interested, and international as this one.
Finally, I would like to give my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the organizations and individuals that banded together to make Maritime Week events possible, including the following institutions that have played a particularly important role:
Canadian Consulate – San Diego, CICESE (Ensenada, Mexico), City of San Diego, Cubic Corporation, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, MTS–San Diego, Maritime Museum of SD, NOAA, Ocean Discovery Institute, Port of San Diego, Port Tenants Association, SD County Office of Education, SD Daily Transcript (our lead local media partner), SD Science Alliance, SD State University, SD Regional Economic Development Corporation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SPAWAR SSC Pacific, Super Yacht Association, and US Commercial Service.
We look forward to your participation over the next 2 days and in the future. A year from now at the 2nd annual Maritime Collaboration Summit let’s look back and feel that we have been successful “Fostering Innovation thorough Collaboration.”
Michael B. Jones