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MATS 2020 to be held as a virtual conference

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28 July 2020

This yearís Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase (MATS 2020) will be held as a virtual event, the delivery committee announced this week.

In the light of the ongoing challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has taken the decision to deliver the event as an online conference for the first time. The approach has been strongly supported by the industry and academic advisors who sit on the event delivery committee.

MATS 2020 will still feature high quality, insightful presentations from key figures in the marine technology sector, as well as industry exhibitors, and those crucial networking opportunities that delegates value. Expert session chairs have already been confirmed and we will be announcing the keynotes and registration details in the coming weeks.

As a result of the changes to this yearís format the abstract submission deadline has been extended until Tuesday 4 August - as announced two weeks ago - to open up the opportunity to those who may have previously been unsure of travel and accommodation arrangements under current restrictions.

Aidan Thorn, the NOCís Marine Robotics Innovation Centre manager and chair of the MATS delivery committee, said: "2020 is proving to be a hugely challenging and unsettling time for people around the world, and obviously itís having a major impact on the industry events calendar here in the UK. In the light of this we have decided that moving MATS 2020 to a virtual conference format is the responsible and practical thing to do. As far as possible we will try to keep proceedings as ínormalí as possible, and the new format will offer opportunities to innovate and try new things.

"MATS 2020 will still be a great showcase for the pioneering work that the NOC and its partners are delivering in the field of marine robotics, for the benefit of UK industry and the scientific community. The event has always been a celebration of emerging and existing partnerships across the industry, and a genuine catalyst for innovation in the sector, with a consistent theme of collaboration underpinning many of the discussions over the last few years. I am confident that these conversations and partnerships will continue the thrive despite the many challenges that we all face at the moment.Ē

Aidan Thorn, Marine Robotics Innovation Centre manager and chair of MATS delivery committee
MATS 2020 to be held as a virtual conference