The 2013 British Marine Electronics Association Conference took place on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at the Novotel, West Quay, Southampton. This annual event provides an opportunity for all sectors of the marine industry to get together not only to discuss topics of mutual interest but also to create and build beneficial business relationships.
Introduced by Derek Gilbert, BMEA Chairman, the Conference included presentations by well known speakers. John Adey, President of ABYC, gave an interesting overview of their work with comparisons with the UK. He made the point that in terms of training, our apprentice schemes are far ahead of the US and congratulated us on this approach.
Dr Martin Unwin, principal GNSS engineer from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd gave a very comprehensive overview of the new Galileo European satellite navigation system. Pointing out the fact that GPS is now quite dated, he discussed an extended list of facilities that this system would be able to carry out over and above navigation. Additional carrier frequencies and today’s technology will allow not only seriously increased positional accuracy but also enable the system to take part in SAR, additional to COSPAS/SARSAT.
Gavin McGee, senior investment consultant for St James Wealth Management gave an amusing but relevant overview of today’s needs for personal savings to provide decent pensions. A return visit by Keith Longman, Berthon Boat Company, updated the delegates with emphasis on their award winning apprenticeship schemes that allows the company to provide employment as older staff retire, something that is very important to all industries.
Chris Harris, sales manager from MG Duff Ltd had been requested to give a detailed overview of corrosion matters and how this natural phenomena can be minimized in the marine environment by using the best materials and protecting them from natural corrosion under water.
Finally, Ken Wittamore discussed his views on government and EU based grants that were available for development work especially when related to ‘green’ use of energy.
The Association’s AGM approved a new constitution, a new acronym, BMEEA (British Marine Electrical & Electronics Association) and logo, the latter two making it clear that the Association was a specialist group within the Federation and provided expertise in electrical supplies and its on-board distribution, additional to all the electronics that has been the mainstay of the Association since its inception some 25 years ago.