Capital of the Oceans
The City of Brest, on France’s Atlantic coast, calls itself the Capital of the Oceans and it is surely living up to that moniker this week as the city hosts the international Sea Tech Week, held every two years, with a programmatic focus on “Maritime Transport: Towards Smarter & Greener Solutions.”
New Wave Media was honored to join a small international press group invited to attend Sea Tech as well as a chance to participate in expanded activities at some of the related and extensive maritime resources within and around Brest. This special guest status was organized and hosted by Business France which wanted to take advantage of the conference to further highlight regional maritime strengths.
The special activities for the press group focused on highlighting four areas:
2. Construction / Maintenance / Commissioning
Tuesday’s round of events started with a tour and set of presentations at ENSTA Bretagne, the graduate level academy training France’s upcoming set of maritime and naval engineers, architects and computer specialists, graduating about 350 students per year. ENSTA is also a research site. Teams focus on digitalized modeling, manufacturing and vessel construction covering a range of specialties, from hydrographics to robotics to security to architecture to renewable energy. ENSTA’s 100+ international partners are from the US, South America, North Africa and across Europe. If it’s tech and cutting edge, ENSTA is on it. Next was a tour of the French Navy’s submarine facility, the repair and maintenance site for nuclear ICBM subs.
The day closed with a festive dinner that included guests from Brest’s expansive maritime network. But this wasn’t just a group of friends lucky to make the dinner list. Rather, what became clear is that this group is a team, that thinks and works like a team, to build on regional maritime assets, to make those assets work together so that long-run results are greater than the sum of their parts. Brest’s public and private sector interests are working to build a maritime cluster, a big-picture effort founded on leveraging established maritime assets to set an economic foundation now for the businesses that will provide tomorrow’s tech and services, from AI to software to digital resources to drones and robotics. Brest knows that France and Europe’s fast push for smarter and greener energy and transport will demand a lot of what Brest knows best: oceans, materials and providing the human capital to power the next steps. Stay tuned.