Major international interest in MS&D 2011
Successful second MS&D with 1,400 participants
A whole range of high-quality presentations, fruitful discussions, new contacts and cooperation opportunities – “MS&D with its high-calibre international conference has continued to build its position as Germany’s central discussion and information platform for security issues in the maritime sector,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC). “It generated international exchange at political, military strategy and industrial level, based on well-informed presentations and the highest level of commitment.” That was his conclusion at the end of the three days of MS&D, international conference and exhibition on maritime security and defence hamburg. At the same time, he added that the industry had highlighted new solutions at the exhibition, as needed to handle the current tasks and respond to asymmetric threats.
MS&D 2011 in Hamburg was attended by 1,400 participants from all continents, including 19 international navy delegations, e.g. from Algeria, Qatar, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and the US. A large proportion of trade visitors were from the shipowners, and also from the shipbuilding industry and from military and civil institutions. As shown by a visitor survey, 94% of visitors regarded MS&D as important, to get information on the latest state of the art in security.
The conference comprised two parallel Panels – the Security Panel and the Defence Panel, covering a very wide range of subjects. There were more than 50 speakers from 15 countries from the top levels of numerous navies of the international community of states, the coast guards, police, international organisations, including NATO, EU, EDA and industry. They analysed and discussed the current situation in international crisis and conflict management, gave reports on successful international navy cooperation, offered solution proposals, and shared their experience.
“Our concept has worked out completely”, said Jan Wiedemann, responsible for Mönch Verlag’s NAVAL FORCES magazine, which is HMC’s cooperation partner for MS&D. He referred to the numerous international institutions attending the Security Panel, taking the opportunity to exchange views on developments in countermeasures against asymmetric threats. It had also become evident that better international coordination was needed. The Defence Panel had addressed the current tasks of the navies, thoroughly analysing the change in tasks and the capabilities needed to handle them, and the technical equipment involved. “There was excellent dialogue at MS&D between navies and industry, which has to provide the technology required by the navies to accomplish their missions,” added Jan Wiedemann.
The Conference Chairman, Vice Admiral (rtd) Lutz Feldt, President of the DMI (German Maritime Institute) and until 2006 Chief of Staff of the German Navy, was “impressed by the high quality of presentations” and noted that the speakers “complemented one another extremely well in the subjects they addressed”. The speakers represented a “broad range of international views and expertise” he added. The international breadth of the MS&D conference was also emphasised by Ulrich Otto, Rear Admiral (rtd) of the German Navy and Chairman of the Defence Panel, referring both to the speakers and the attendees – “The fact that the speakers came from such different countries and institutions ensures independence. It makes the viewpoints of conference participants all the more valuable. That is one of the great benefits of the MS&D Conference.”
The two Chairmen called on political decision makers to get more involved in the subjects of maritime security and defence. They noted that the MS&D conference had highlighted a series of new insights on asymmetric threats, which could be the basis for action by governments. Rear Admiral Otto stressed the fact that the industry had already developed good solutions for many security and defence problems, but that further state support was needed. And Vice Admiral Feldt emphasised that MS&D had clearly shown that international law gives every government the possibility to take a wide range of measures against maritime threats. “If they fail to make use of these rights, that is a policy decision,” he said.
The accompanying exhibition with 60 exhibitors from 11 countries was an outstanding complement in the view of many participants, giving a good overview of new developments in naval shipbuilding, surveillance technology and protection and defence systems. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co, the two shipyards cooperating on the new frigate generation F125, said that MS&D was just the right occasion to attract the interest of overseas navies, with the new frigate as a reference project. Admiral Jonathan Kamerman, CEO TKMS Singapore, came to Hamburg specially for MS&D. “We believe that the quality of visitors is more important than quantity,” said Jörg Ahrens, Sales Manager at Lürssen, “and we had some very good leads – we hope for positive follow-up from them”.
André Grabow, Business Development Manager Navy at Germanischer Lloyd, praised the “outstanding organisation of MS&D”, and said that everything had worked out “smoothly”, right up to advance notice given by the navy delegations for their visit to the exhibition stand. Delegations calling on GL for information included those of Qatar, Namibia, the Netherlands, Peru and Thailand.
There were “some good meetings with a series of navy delegations,” said Dirk Zademack, Head of Sales and Project Management at Nobiskrug, an Abu Dhabi MAR company. For example, the delegations from Pakistan and Thailand showed particular interest in the yard’s new Fast Attack Craft.
Naval Architect Thomas Sass, responsible for Sales & Marketing at the Fassmer shipyard, was pleased with the arrangement of conference and exhibition on one level at MS&D 2011. Visitors were particularly impressed by the Offshore Patrol Vessels OPV80 and OPV90 (length 80 metres and 90 metres respectively) and the future project OPV 2020. He commented that Fassmer’s participation at MS&D is aimed at strengthening its market position, including in the South American market, where Fassmer already has a strong position.
The Leontraining stand was characterised by “continuous discussions with visitors, including many shipowners and international organisations”, as reported by Jascha Wozniak, Head of “the Training and Management Community for Behaviour-Oriented Safety”. He noted that this behavioural training in hostage situations was perceived as highly innovative. His only regret was that he was unable to attend the conference presentations because there was so much visitor interest at the stand.
“We were able to present our work with unmanned underwater vehicles to a large number of visitors from various navies and institutions, and fully achieved our goals at MS&D,” said John C. Osler, Ph.D., describing the stand of the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) at MS&D.
There were also a range of marine equipment suppliers at MS&D 2011, offering both new and established technologies and products for all aspects of maritime security. Wolfgang Lehman, CEO of Tedimex GmbH, a manufacturer of sonic cannon and high-intensity searchlights, reported “fruitful discussions” with new potential customers. Olaf Breitkreuz, Managing Director of Shielded Ship Solution, a company working in cooperation with Fehrmann Metallverarbeitung GmbH to supply suitable, electromagnetically shielded bullet-proof windows for stealth naval vessels, had “a lot of very promising inquiries” from shipowners. Axel Heinrich, Business Development Manager at Mobotix, a supplier of high-resolution video systems, commented that this time contacts between exhibitors was excellent. He remarked that the network at MS&D was also an advantage for the visitors, who were of “remarkable quality”, and mostly came from the shipyard or logistic sectors or from international navies. MS&D was exactly the right forum for the company.
The third MS&D, international conference and exhibition on maritime security and defence hamburg, will be held at the Hamburg Fair site in 2013, in alternation with the SMM international shipbuilding fair (2012).