Malcolm Heron, OES Vice President for Technical Activities
I started writing this column with Plan A in mind to say that the year was getting off to a smooth start with several workshops that have originated from Technology Committees and/or Chapters. These include the Offshore Energy and Storage Conference in Boston, USA in July (by the OSES Technology Committee), the Antarctic and Southern Oceans Forum in Hobart, Australia in August (Polar Oceans Technology Committee), Breaking the Surface Symposium in Croatia (Autonomous Marine Systems Technology Committee) and the Underwater Systems Conference in Xian, China (Malaysia Chapter) in August. But as I write, the COVID-19 virus has tentacles that cast a shadow over the whole outlook for the year, and I have moved to Plan B. Already international events are being postponed – pushed back into the second half of the year in the optimistic hope that normal conditions will resume by then. This means that the calendar is going to be pretty empty in the first part of the year and saturated (perhaps) in the second half.
The activities funding schemes for Technology Committees (TCAFS) and Chapters (CHAFS) are still funded and looking for applications. And remember that the funds are already allocated and the approval process is short and efficient. In the circumstances there are opportunities for regional events and activities that can proceed in spite of the virus turmoil. I urge you to be creative.