Key figures from Maersk Group, Statoil and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have signed up to discuss future ocean business opportunities, demands and strategies at Opening Oceans Conference 2018 (OOC). The event, Nor-Shipping’s first outside its Norwegian home, will see c-level executives gather in Copenhagen on 2nd and 3rd May to examine how to responsibly realise the huge potential of the ocean, gaining the understanding, partners and tools to equip businesses for the way ahead.

High-level speakers and panellists for the new event include OECD’s Claire Jolly, Head, Innovation Policies for Space and Oceans (IPSO) Unit, Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior VP, Corporate Sustainability, Statoil, and Vice CEO of Maersk Group, and CEO of Maersk Energy Division, Claus V. Hemmingsen.

It’s a line-up that, says Nor-Shipping’s Sofia Furstenberg, Strategic Lead OOC, offers diverse perspectives and unique insights into how major industrial players will aim to adapt models and build foundations for a new age of ocean business.

“OECD, led by the work of Claire, has identified that ocean value creation will double by 2030, so the opportunities for forward-thinking companies are immense,” she states. “Statoil and Maersk are leading the way in adapting strategies to unlock sustainable success in this new arena, with the former transitioning to increased renewable energy activity, while the latter addresses one of the main themes of OOC this year, data value. Just this month Maersk announced a collaboration with IBM to utilise blockchain technology to speed up ocean trade and potentially save billions of dollars. This is the kind of innovative thinking that will unlock real value in the future.

“Through presentations, panel discussions and collaborative working spaces, high level delegates from a range of sectors – maritime, ocean, the energy sector, regulatory bodies, and more – will be able to really identify how they can address business potential and work together to compliment one another’s existing expertise and experience, and future ambitions. It’s such an exciting, important area to be focusing on and we know that all our attendees, from shipowners to technologists, will gain some unique and valuable perspectives.”

Alongside Jolly, Sverdrup and Hemmingsen, other confirmed speakers include high profile names such as Lasse Kristoffersen, CEO, Torvald Klaveness, Christopher Rex, Head of Research, Danish Ship Finance, Patrik Möller, CEO, CorPower, Sturla Henriksen, Special Advisor on Oceans to UN Global Compact, Steffen Knodt, Board Member, German Association for Marine Technology GMT / Hamburg, and Oliver Steeds, Founder of Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute. Together they will address the four main OOC themes of logistics, data value, food, and energy and minerals, amongst other key ocean business issues.

“The prestige of the speakers that have confirmed so far clearly shows the demand and ambition for ocean business development,” concludes Furstenberg. “Nor-Shipping is evolving, just as maritime will, to build on its established position and access new opportunity. We want to help industries, and the next generation of business leaders, seize the potential that is out there. By gathering together – meeting, networking and building bridges – we can make the perfect start.”

Timed to coincide with Danish Maritime Days, Opening Oceans Conference is supported by both the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association and Danish Shipping. Further details of the programme for Opening Oceans Conference 2018, including information regarding speakers and the venue, will be released in the coming weeks.

Nor-Shipping 2019, which will also focus on increasing ocean business potential, takes place across a series of venues in Lillestrøm and Oslo, Norway, between 04-07 June 2019.