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Call for papers for IMCA’s annual seminar opens

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Jane Bugler

Jane Bugler

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has issued the call for papers for its Annual Seminar 2015 being held in Abu Dhabi 27-28 October, submissions on the theme of ‘A health check for the marine contracting industry’ should be submitted to events@imca-int.com by 24 April using templates available from the IMCA website at www.imca-int.com .

“Our theme can be considered as ‘fitness for purpose’ or ‘removal of platinum plating’ and could cover personnel, assets, working practices, business requirements and the supply chain, ” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler.  “Maintaining high levels of safety remains at the core of the event as it does within the industry; competence of personnel is vital, along with training for competence; and so too is cost reduction – engineering to gold, or platinum, plated specifications is not necessary. We must not let costs run away with us, it is imperative that we, and our thousand-plus member companies around the globe, look at adding value and not cost.”

Individuals and companies are invited to submit abstracts for consideration by the Steering Committee against the guidelines and suggested areas of interest published by IMCA on their website.

The event, being held at Abu Dhabi’s Jumeirah at Emirates Tower is organised by all four IMCA technical divisions and will include separate Marine, Diving and Offshore Survey/ROV sessions. The event also encompasses IMCA core activities of Competence & Training and Safety, Environment & Legislation. The format will again include keynote presentations on commercial/contracting issues, plenary sessions, streamed presentation sessions and parallel workshops on a variety of issues, as well as the associated exhibition of supplier members and variety of social and networking events. During the plenary session on the afternoon of Day 2 a new feature will be a selection of short, quick fire educational presentation slots.

What IMCA is looking for under four important headings
IMCA is inviting abstracts for technical papers (for 30 minute presentation slots) on the following topics. “However, if you have a different topic which you feel would be of technical or operational interest, please submit it for consideration, ” says Jane Bugler.

Marine and Subsea Operations, Technology and Equipment

  • Developments in marine and subsea technology and operations including:
  • Technologically challenging construction activities – case studies
  • Marine developments in challenging fields
  • Personnel initiatives addressing competence, multitasking and internationalisation
  • Health issues in the marine workforce
  • Energy efficiency and vessel fuel challenges and strategies
  • DP system configuration for safe and efficient DP operations
  • Challenges of turnkey vessel new builds
  • Life extension programmes
  • Developing technologies for efficient marine operations
  • Safety initiatives in marine operations e.g. control-of-work; hazard identification and risks


  • Key aspects of diving equipment specification and operating procedures to appropriate requirements and safe operations including:
  • Equipment development needs: how can we address the main challenges for compliance and safe operations
  • Hyperbaric evacuation solutions – meeting the requirements of IMCA D 052 and IOGP 478 – case studies
  • Advances in technology both in tools and in vessels
  • Medical assistance  in remote locations – remote monitoring; the role of the diver medic; case studies
  • Diver medicals/health issues; illness self-declaration
  • Developments in the diving industry
  • Diver efficiency at the worksite – training and competence, drills and procedures
  • Supply and demand for divers and supervisors
  • Partial pressure of O2 in bail outs – case studies

ROV and AUV resources

  • Developments in ROV and AUV technology including:
  • New development for ROV and or AUV launch and recovery – safety to the fore
  • ROV construction support to deep water developments – typical pull-in and connection tooling advances
  • ROV drill support and/or intervention – completions technology
  • What is the fixation with ROV horsepower and/or age?
  • IRM by autonomous vehicles – pipeline, structure, remote infrastructure etc. – is this gaining momentum?
  • Permanent resident seabed vehicles – can these survive and what would they be expected to achieve?
  • Tooling for the field of the future – all electric subsea production facilities including compression, separation, etc.  How can it be maintained at depth?
  • Who are the next generation of ROV/AUV technicians – advanced training/competence?
  • Training for competence as opposed to training for the sake of it!

Offshore survey

  • Addressing key developments of survey and inspection operation including but not limited to:
  • Advances in accuracy of survey sensors
  • Advances in the accuracy of survey sensors and their connection to the host platform (ROV, AUV, ROTV, etc.)
  • Trend towards bigger and more capable survey vessels – multipurpose versus multi useless!
  • Implications of ultra-deep water to survey operations – positioning accuracies?
  • Unmanned survey and positioning projects – do we need the surveyor in the offshore environment?
  • Advances in metrology – case studies and projects
  • Advances in INS technology – case studies of the use of INS
  • The importance of good oceanographic survey data for marine construction

New features
IMCA‘s Annual Seminar can provide a range of interest groups a platform to showcase or educate across the multiple disciplines within IMCA. One new feature for 2015 is that the 90-minute plenary session immediately after lunch on the second day will be devoted to a series of eight quick fire (10 minutes each) educational presentations on totally technology-driven subject matter(s). These eight slots will be open to all the exhibitors – both to IMCA supplier members and also to non-IMCA equipment/service suppliers (who will be given the opportunity to have an exhibition presence at a premium non-member rate, on a one-off basis).  We’ve established some ‘ground rules’ for the session, ” explains Jane Bugler. “These include:

  • The presentation can be no longer than 10 minutes – with the suggestion that seven slides should be regarded as the maximum
  • The presentation must be on a technology development that puts some new thinking to the audience – think ‘gadgets and widgets’ or ‘processes that eliminate waste’
  • The presentations can address any technology of interest to IMCA members, whether in Marine, Diving, ROV/Offshore Survey or training/education, etc.
  • Questions will be limited to the end of the series of eight presentations, if there is time available in the programme, otherwise delegates with questions will be directed to the exhibitor’s booth.

Exhibitors, who are already enthusiastically booking space, will be delighted by another new feature of the IMCA Annual Seminar. They will be able to set up their stands from 15:00 on 26 October, ready for the Opening Night Reception and Registration which begins at 18:30. Full information on exhibiting, and other aspects of the event are available on the IMCA website.

Looking back
520 delegates from 30 countries attended IMCA’s Annual Seminar 2014 in London last November. The event, held in a different country each year, proved to be a record breaker in terms of delegate registration, as well as attracting more exhibitors than ever before (34), and more endorsing organisations (14) from around the world.

The 2016 Annual Seminar will be in the USA, the 2017 event will move to Singapore, and in 2018 it will return to London.
About IMCA

  • IMCA is an international association with well over a thousand members in more than 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
  • IMCA Vision & Strategy. As a result of work and collective input in 2013, IMCA has redefined its stated core purpose to be “Improving performance in the marine contracting industry”. To achieve this goal, IMCA’s Vision & Strategy has been devised with two elements in mind: Core activities and ways of working.
  • IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as eCMID, safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.

About the industry IMCA serves
The marine contracting industry plays a vital global role. Its vessels account for 4% of the world’s maritime fleet. Collectively IMCA members employ some 350, 000 people and have an annual turnover of around $150bn. They work in all the world’s major offshore areas, delivering large offshore oil and gas and marine renewables projects around the globe that quite literally fuel the global economy.

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