Jeroen De Jonge
With the growth that the underwater defence sector has seen of late and the rapid increase in the number of nations planning to expend resources in this area, UDT 2017 which took place from 30 May - 1 June in Bremen, Germany, has again proven itself to be the premier global meeting place for undersea professionals, showcasing the vibrancy of this market. Nations with established undersea defence capabilities and those nations seeking to develop theirs are faced with many of the same challenges. The sea as a natural environment is one of the most technically difficult environments in which to operate. The physics and chemistry of the ocean are key constants that can be exploited for advantage through the application of science, technology and human ingenuity. With this in mind, the Undersea Defence Technology Conference focused on pushing the boundaries of science, technology and the skilful exploitation of new knowledge. The significance of the show and the content discussed was noted by attendees with the opening keynote address being made by the German Navy, alongside event plenary partner thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH. Rapid growth for UDT “UDT provided a perfect opportunity to meet with potential partners and customers and maybe more importantly to meet with people we had not planned to meet, but then having very important discussions with” said Alexander Janke, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH so it’s not surprising that 91% of visitors say they would recommend the event to a colleague. It is this opportunity and market buoyancy that is driving such rapid growth for UDT, something that is already being seen for the 2018 show with over 50% of the show space already booked. "Excellent and highly focused conference that brings together all subject matter experts in one place" The plenary discussion on day two was dedicated to “A navy’s perspective on underwater- challenges and solutions” which brought together subject matter experts from across the German Navy who utilised their technical expertise to drive deep discussion across the subject matter. The conference finished on a high with the day three plenary taking a look a future predictions, trends and thoughts with Dr Heiko Borchert, Managing Director, Borchert Consulting & Research AG and Dr Lee Willett, Independent Analyst and Editor, Jane's Strategic Weapons System shaping the discussion. Jeroen de Jonge, TNO Defense, Safety and Security commented “Excellent and highly focused conference that brings together all subject matter experts in one place”. Global platform for undersea professionals With the increase in market buoyancy we expect to see the event maintaining growth and to continue to be seen as the global meeting place for undersea professionals. This increase in market interest was reflected in the strong conference programme and a 32% increase in attendees, highlighting the value that is placed on both the content and the exhibition at UDT. In fact, UDT 2017 welcomed 1,411 unique visitors coming from 42 countries and including 21 senior VIP delegations. UDT Event Director Tracy Bebbington said, “With the size of the show floor having increased again year on year there were high expectations placed on the show delivery, something that we can confidently say was achieved. With 42 countries represented at the show we can truly say that we are engaging a global market. A fact that is re-enforced by 96% of visitors claiming that UDT is the most important event for their business”. With 51% of the 2018 floor plan booked onsite and many visitors already pledging in the post event survey to return in 2018, the 31th edition in Glasgow from 26 – 28 June 2018 will continue to build on the success of UDT 2017.
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