A leading Humber wind conference is to use a “game-changing” virtual platform to replicate real-life interaction.
Offshore Wind Connections 2021, being held on April 21 and 22, is using technology that provides an authentic and immersive experience for delegates while showcasing exhibitors, sponsors and leading industry speakers.
The specialist event, run by Team Humber Marine Alliance, is now in its eighth year and has grown in stature along with the offshore wind sector in the region, attracting hundreds of visitors from the UK and globally.
For OWC 2021, Team Humber Marine Alliance has partnered with Aura, which has developed the innovative platform to create a “digital twin” of its Aura Innovation Centre (AIC) part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Hull. Headline sponsorship of the event is from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Andrew Oliver, chairman of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said that the opportunity to use the technology developed by Aura would create “new conversations” among delegates.
“Although you will take part in OWC 2021 from your desk, you will feel that you are inside the AIC building and the technology offers incredible potential for networking.”
After creating an avatar, delegates will enter the virtual AIC, move around the building and network with people of their choice. They can “take a seat” and watch presentations broadcast via the Team Humber Marine Alliance news channel straight on to the screen in the lifelike, real-time AIC conference space.
“Delegates can easily check out who’s ‘in the building’, chat with them, video call them and even get together in groups – and it’s very simple to use,” added Mr Oliver.
“After a year of uncertainty and social distancing, we are really pleased that Aura has partnered with us and enabled us to access this game-changing conference platform. We are immensely grateful for their input and to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for their headline sponsorship.”
Louise Smith, director of Aura, said: “Our new virtual Aura Innovation Centre is an ideal example of innovation in practice. We have worked with Humber SME Clay10 to develop the digital platform which enables Offshore Wind Connections, and many other events, to go ahead, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a big year for the Humber region and the UK as a whole, with attention firmly on the climate change agenda and the national race to net zero. Offshore wind has an integral part to play in response to both of these challenges so it’s vital that we provide opportunities to connect and explore developments across the sector together.”
In addition to the headline sponsorship from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, platinum sponsors include ABP, Ørsted, and ORE Catapult, with the silver sponsor being Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm. The conference is also being supported by RenewableUK, and the line-up of speakers will be announced over the coming weeks.
The price of a conference pass, which will allow full access to the virtual exhibition, networking and presentations is £90 plus VAT with a reduction for Team Humber Marine Alliance members.