GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

February 2, 2013

The Mayor's Desk: New 'innovations' through Maritime Summit

This coming Thursday, the city hosts our second “Maritime Summit.”

The title of the summit is “Innovations in the Maritime Economy” and we are so pleased to report that registration is completely sold out with approximately 150 people attending, exhibiting, or speaking.

The first summit, held in November 2011, showcased a number of experts who outlined the broad scope of maritime economic opportunities available within our existing port infrastructure. It was the first significant step in aggressively pursuing job growth and investment within the marine science and technology economic sector.

The scope of opportunity in this sector was pegged at nearly $5 billion in New England. In Massachusetts, it’s pegged at about $1.8 billion, and the North of Boston region is second only to Boston in both venture capital obtained and patents granted in the marine science and technology sector.

As a result of the first summit, we have a much greater understanding of ocean resources, ocean economic opportunity, and the changing role of working ports. The upcoming summit will extend the conversation to a tighter focus on regional and local prospects that will yield future growth.

Two research vessels that do ocean mapping will be docked at the Marine Terminal at Cruiseport and available for tours during the day of the Summit. We are a full service port, and in an effort to protect the assets that comprise the port, we need to diversity the types of commercial vessels that rely on the port for services. Ocean-faring research vessels represent one such opportunity.

Ocean Genome Legacy is an exhibitor that will showcase a DNA library and bar code scanning for seafood. Olin College will preview the robotic “sailbots” which will be sailing in the harbor this spring as part of a national regatta. Current businesses operating within the port of Gloucester will highlight the innovation that is currently going on along our waterfront during a panel session on “Innovation in Action — Snapshots from the Working Port.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion