“Maritime technology for defence and security.” NATCON Conference in Gdansk

IMAGE CREDIT: Krzysztof Miłosz/AMW
IMAGE CREDIT: Krzysztof Miłosz/AMW

“Maritime technology for defence and security” is the tagline adopted for the 8th edition of the international NATCON conference that is going to be organized in parallel with the BALT-MILITARY EXPO 2018 event.

Between 25th and 28th June 2018, the eighth edition of the NATCON international science and technology conference is scheduled to take place. It is organized with a tagline which reads as follows: “Maritime technology for defence and security”. The project is pursued in parallel with the anniversary XV edition of the BALT-MILITARY-EXPO.

NATCON conference is organized by two largest Gdynian institutes that conduct their activities in the widely understood domain of maritime security: Polish Naval Academy (AMW) and OBR CTM S.A. (Research and Development Center - Center for Maritime Technology) company belonging to the Polish Armament Group. All of the entities above collaborate with the Gdansk International Fair Co. on the basis of a memorandum signed back in November 2011. The aforesaid memorandum has made it possible to fuse two important events organized in the Tri-City area: BME and NATCON.

BME fair is an event of major importance that has been organized since 1998 by the GIF Co. The expo in question is closely related to the maritime and coastal domain. The event is focused on maritime security, latest defence systems and maritime and land rescue operations. The whole initiative is addressed to the Polish Navy, the remaining armed services, as well as to the formations subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and Administration.

NATCON “Maritime technology for defence and security” conference is rooted in the Symposium for Military Maritime Technology that had been previously organized by OBR CTM, within the period between 1987 and 2005. Starting from 2007 the event has been transformed into the NATCON conference which is organized jointly by CTM and the Polish Naval Academy.

The memorandum signed has made NATCON and BME a fixed element of the events calendar, with regards to the most relevant initiatives covering the use of maritime technologies in the domain of defence and security. Not only is the conference addressed to the Armed Forces or military and civil companies dealing with maritime technologies, as it also may be interesting for the maritime SAR services.

Since 2014 the conference has been co-organized by the following entities: Military University of Technology, War Studies University and Gdansk University of Technology. The reputation of the event is growing, as back in 2012 (5th edition), it already involved 130 participants hailing from 6 states (Poland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, the United States of America). During the meeting that lasted 3 days, 53 papers and announcements were presented by speakers representing 28 companies and institutions.

The next edition organized in 2014 has gathered around 200 participants hailing from 12 countries (Poland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Vietnam, the US and Mexico). The participants had a chance to attend 80 paper presentations held by representatives of more than 50 Polish and foreign entities ad enterprises.

During the 7th edition 260 participants attended 92 paper presentations which became a foundation for future collaborations established by and between the representatives of academia, industry and prospective users of the solutions showcased. The conference received participation submissions from more than 50 institutions and companies hailing from 13 countries, namely: Poland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Ukraine, Romania, Israel, the US, Brazil and Ethiopia.

This year’s edition of the NATCON conference confirms the proper nature of the cooperation framework established by the organizers, the goal of which is to establish an international platform for exchange of know-how by and between the academia, industry and the end user in the maritime security domain.

The NATCOM conference is supervised by a Scientific-Programme Committee chaired by the President of the Management Board/Managing Director at OBR CTM - Andrzej Kilian PhD Eng. Kilian is the chairperson of the committee. Vice-chairman role has been assigned to the Rector/Commander of the Polish Naval Academy, Captain Professor Tomasz Szubrycht PhD Eng. The Committee mentioned above includes, inter alia, representatives of the following entities: National Security Bureau, central institutions of the Polish Armed Forces, departments of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Polish Navy led by the Polish Navy Inspector and Commander of the Naval Operations of the Naval Component Command, uniformed services, state administration, maritime authorities, research entities and defence and maritime security companies.

This year’s edition of the NATCOM event covers the thematic scope focused within three main panels: naval battle systems (platforms: naval, air, coastal; weapons systems; C4ISR), maritime security system (cooperation for maintaining maritime security; protection of harbors and critical infrastructure; maritime SAR; protection and safety of shipping and sailing; monitoring of the seas; navigational and hydrographic support) and operational activities of the maritime technologies (ICT systems, armament and specialised equipment; simulation and training systems; certification and test programmes in defence and security; logistical support).

Three of the most innovative papers will be awarded with the “Crystal Lantern” distinction. The laureates will be selected in a competition initiated during the 6th edition of the conference.

NATCON is also going to involve a conference of University research groups, known under the name of “Challenges for security”, organized by the University reading groups and PhD students. The event makes it possible for the future experts to exchange their experience in the domain of maritime security, also contributing to networking in the student and doctoral student circles between the Polish Universities. The initiative is also aimed at selecting the best paper – which is also to receive the “Crystal Lantern” award.

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