Oregon Coast Marine Tech Summit Declared a Success
(Newport, Oregon) – Over 100 leaders in the world of marine science and technology gathered on the central Oregon coast last month in what is being described as an event that “bolstered” the maritime industry of the Pacific Northwest. Organizers say the NW Marine Technology Summit in late October in Newport achieved many of its goals in moving these industries forward, sharing ideas and insights to not only Lincoln County professionals but to many outside of Oregon.
Organizers said just over half of the conference’s attendees came from outside of Oregon - representing seven states and provinces in total - while one-third arrived from within Lincoln County.
A series of panels organized around the themes of “marine economy” and “marine technology” highlighted industry updates and encouraged coalition building for the purpose of growing a marine technology, or “BlueTech”, cluster in the Pacific Northwest.
Among the speakers was Michael Jones of San Diego’s The Maritime Alliance, a group which looks to further advance blue economy growth and advocacy in San Diego. He shared some critical insight with the Summit audience regarding the great potential and appeal of BlueTech in the Northwest.
As part of his keynote address on promoting BlueTech and BlueJobs, Jones said this is an industry everyone should love.
“It creates BlueTech jobs that are fast growing, a lot of exports, and blue collar jobs on top of that,” Jones said.
Above: Jones speaking at the Summit on the central Oregon coast.
Jones’ remarks, which emphasized the maritime industry as a rapidly growing internationally traded sector of the economy, hit home in a region where many coastal communities continue to struggle to strengthen and diversify their economies.
“So how does that translate to cluster building?,” said spokesperson Amy Clark. “As many presenters were keen to remind the Summit audience, the opportunity to grow business and create family wage jobs in BlueTech sits at the intersection of industry, policy, funding, and education. Expanded partnerships across these arenas will be key to the future growth and success of a maritime cluster in the Northwest.”
The format of 2014’s Summit included back and forth discussions between researchers, private industry representatives, educators, and policymakers.
“Continuing to harness the existing momentum and interest in expanding partnerships that was so clearly present during the Summit will prove key to making progress on the development of a Northwest regional maritime cluster.”
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