4-7 February 2023 | Ocean Expo

Knowledge, learning, innovation and technology play a crucial role in informing decisions on sustainability. This session will highlight innovative solutions and technologies that can help in the identification, monitoring and management of MPAs. It will be an exciting, practical and solutions-oriented session, providing a platform for innovators, boosting investment, and encouraging business-to-business collaboration. It will be a precedent-setting event connecting innovation to conservation at IMPAC5.

There are four main elements to the IMPAC5 Ocean Innovation and Technology component of IMPAC5: four panel discussions, MPA Pitch Challenge, speed dating, and an Ocean Tech hub in the Ocean Expo.

1 – Panel Presentations with Technology Companies and MPA Managers

A series of moderated panel presentations, organized around the main types of technology.

Format – each company will have 5 minutes to introduce themselves, their tech and how it can support MPAs. An MPA manager will describe how they are using the technology. Following a moderator driven discussion, the floor will be open to Q&As from the audience.

Panel 1 – Robotics to support MPA monitoring and management

Ocean Expo Mainstage – Saturday, February 4th – 2:30-3:30pm

This panel will look at how robots might aid in the monitoring, enforcement, and research of marine protected areas and look into some real-world case studies.

Moderator – Justin Manley, President, Marine Technology Society/OceanKind


  • Julie Angus, CEO, Open Ocean Robotics – Uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs)
  • Eric Jackson, CFO, Cellula Robotics – uncrewed undersea vehicles (UUVs)
  • Derek Puzzuoli, CEO SeaHawk Robotics – amphibious uncrewed aerial systems (UAS)
  • Bob Farrell, Senior Enforcement Consultant, WildAid

Panel 2 – Domain Awareness for Ocean Conservation – Sensors, eDNA, Ai

Ocean Expo Mainstage – Saturday, February 4 – 3:30-4:30pm

This panel will explore how information from sensors, cameras, eDNA can all contribute to more effective MPAs.

Moderator – Eric Siegel, Ocean Frontiers Institute


  • Samantha Howlett, Business Development Manager-Conservation, NatureMetrics –TBC
  • Olivier Tsui, Manager, Geomatics Group, Hatfield -smartWhales
  • Emily Charry Tissier, CEO and Founder, WhaleSeeker
  • Ethan Edson, Co-founder/CTO, Ocean Diagnostics
  • Henry Duffy, Programme Development Manager, Fauna and Flora International

Panel 3 – Remote Sensing for MPA enforcement and compliance

Ocean Expo Mainstage – Sunday, February 5th – 2:30-3:30 pm

Moderator – Ted Schmitt, Director, Conservation, Allen Institute for Ai


  • Robert Quinn, Director of Geointelligence for Canada, MDA
  • Matt Gummery, Senior Manager, Product Development, Global Fishing Watch
  • Sean Wheeler, Chief of International Programs, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dark Vessel Detection
  • Diane Baum, Director of Conservation and Fisheries, Ascension Island

Panel 4 – Measuring and Conserving MPAs with data and AI

Ocean Expo Mainstage – Sunday, February 5th – 3:30-4:30 pm

Moderator – Emilie De Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership (COAST)


  • Scott Beatty, CEO, MarineLabs
  • Arieanna Balbar, Co-Founder, Scient Analytics
  • Moritz Lehmann, Senior Scientist, Starboard NZ
  • Chief Gordon Planes, T’Sou-ke Nation

1 – MPA Pitch Challenge

Ocean Expo Mainstage – Monday, February 6th – 2:30-4:00 pm

This challenge invites start-ups and social enterprises with sustainable revenue models designed to benefit from, increase the viability of, or enhance the creation and protection of Marine Protected Areas. Submissions are open to innovators anywhere in the world.

Ten startups have been invited to pitch their MPA solution in person to the world’s largest gathering of MPA professionals at IMPAC5.

The IMPAC5 Ocean Tech Hosts chose the 10 startups and will be the judges of the pitches:

  • Justin Manley, Senior Advisor, OceanKind and President-elect, Marine Technology Society
  • Eric Siegel, Chief Innovation Office, Ocean Frontier Institute and Executive in Residence, Creative Destruction Lab, Dalhousie University

The IMPAC5 Ocean Tech Hosts are pleased to provide the winner(s) with access to global incubators, investors and accelerators, along with business coaching and mentorship.

The top 10 startups in the MPA Pitch Challenge are:

  • AbbaTek Group – Jean-Samuel Poirier, Co-Founder
  • BlueNav – Mathilde Gombeaud, COO
  • Dartmouth Ocean Technologies – Vincent Sieben, CTO
  • eOceans – Christine Ward-Paige, Founder, CEO, Lead Scientist
  • NAVFeas – Sam Malagon, COO
  • OceanEye Conservation – Sari Tolvanen, CEO/Founder
  • OnDeck Fisheries Ai Inc – Alexander Dungate, Co-Founder
  • SafetyNet Technologies Ltd – Dan Watson, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Starboard Maritime Intelligence –  Kelly Rummins, Product Marketing Manager
  • uWare Robotics – Sayri Arteaga, CEO and Engineering

3 – “Speed dating” – MPA Practitioners and Ocean Innovators

Use the IMPAC5 App to arrange meetings with the ocean innovators speaking at the Ocean Innovation and Technology Series, and innovators can reach out to key MPA managers from around the world. The ocean tech hub (see below) provides a wonderful venue to meet!

4 – Ocean Tech Hub in the Ocean Expo

Come and meet the Ocean tech innovators at the Ocean Tech Hub and have some one-on-one conversations to learn more about how new ocean technology can help your MPA! And if you are an MPA manager, share your challenges with the innovators and see how they might be able to help you!