On September 13-14, 2022, the 1st Annual UMERC Summit was held in coordination with the Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) and the Ocean Renewable Energy Conference (OREC).
The UMERC Summit is a requirement of the UMERC Program per Subtask 2.8.0 of the SOPO – Annual Summit. The SOPO task states: ‘The annual summit will facilitate research collaboration and coordination. The summit will take place adjacent to a research conference and the location will rotate geographically within the U.S. to increase accessibility by members of the U.S. marine energy research community from diverse geographies, backgrounds, and career stages. To further support a diversity in attendees, POET may provide travel assistance to a subset of attendees. During odd years (e.g., first year of the project), the conference will be industry-focused, but accessible to the entire research community. During even years (e.g., second year of the project), the conference will be academic-focused, but accessible to industry. The structure and content for the annual summit will be planned by the Board of Directors and POET, liaising with the planning committees for the adjacent conference to maximize collaboration and coordination of the entire marine energy research community.’
The conference was held over two whole days (September 14-15), and was held ahead of the OREC Conference. The decision to coordinate the conference with METS was because METS is an established research conference that had not happened for the last couple of years due to COVID-19. The METS Board of Directors was ready to re-start the conference again but did not want to hold it alongside Water Power Week, and also wanted to hold the conference somewhere other than DC.
Furthermore, the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust puts on an annual conference in Portland so it was decided that we should hold all three activities together. Using expertise of conference planning from both OREC and METS, we felt that this was the perfect pairing to kick off the 1st UMERC Summit. POET worked with Andrea Copping from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Michael Lawson from National Renewable Energy Laboratory from METS.