On November 28th, the International Ocean Science and Technology Industry Association (IOSTIA) conducted a highly-focused blue technology exhibition for the United States Coast Guard at their headquarters in D.C.
At the request of the Coast Guard, a delegation of IOSTIA members came to D.C. to demonstrate the breadth and capabilities of cutting-edge ocean technologies and engage in a mutually beneficial two-way dialog called the CG Blue Technology Focus Day.
The opportunity to work in partnership with the Coast Guard to create this event was well-timed. The Coast Guard is challenged by limited R&D budgets and restrictive acquisition regulations that impede their ability to procure, test, and understand the applications for the latest blue technologies that could positively impact mission effectiveness. Additionally, with the recent passage of the Save Our Seas Act the Coast Guard is now charged with standing up a Blue Technology Center of Expertise (COE). The process of developing and launching this COE could certainly benefit from kind of robust, interactive, and on-going dialog with industry that was on display at the event.
The inaugural Blue Tech Focus Day featured opening remarks from Rear Admiral Michael Haycock, Assistant Commandant for Acquisition & Chief Acquisition Officer, who commented on the value of bringing industry to the Coast Guard and challenged the attendees to think outside-the-box as they learn about the latest blue tech. The Coast Guard Dive Team also made a highly informative presentation on their program and capabilities.
The ability to utilize technology to gather data, map, assess the environment, and use analytics to develop a mission strategy before human intervention is required, was a key theme. Assisting the Coast Guard in the process of understanding the capabilities of the latest technologies is an important first step in adopting the right blue tech solutions and applying new protocols the Guard’s operations.
IOSTIA will be running similar programs throughout with other federal agencies throughout the year and are reflective of IOSTIA’s goal to create and enhance opportunities within government for its members. Through creative programs like this Coast Guard event, IOSTIA overcomes the challenges of travel budgets and other restrictions that often prohibit government employees from benefiting from traditional conferences. This customer-centric approach enables a wide range of federal contractors, end-users, executive and senior government employees and military flag officers to conveniently attend events and benefit from the wealth of information presented by IOSTIA members.