Towards a more inclusive Oceans Community

Towards a more inclusive Oceans Community; invitation to participants from traditionally under-represented countries to participate in the virtual component of OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto, hosted in Portugal.


We would like to call your attention to the fact that the next OCEANS Conference is being organized jointly by San Diego, USA and Porto, PT to bring to our community OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto, from September 20-23, 2021. This will be a hybrid event with in-person participation in San Diego and virtual participation organized by Porto. Everyone who wishes to attend worldwide will have one of two venues available to enjoy the significant benefits of the conference not found anywhere else in 2021 – technical innovation, scientific research, and high-level agencies and industrial / investment briefings. You are cordially invited to visit the OCEANS 2021 website at for more information about the conference.


The OCEANS conferences, jointly sponsored by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (IEEE/OES) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS), are a major forum for scientists, engineers, and those with an interest in the oceans to gather and exchange their knowledge and groundbreaking ideas regarding the future of the world’s oceans and their societal and economic impact. The large spectrum of topics addressed afford OCEANS´ attendees the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of participating actively in sessions on scientific research and technical innovation, attending visionary plenary lecture, and getting involved in societal, industrial, and investment briefings. Each year, OCEANS conferences bring together a vast community of participants from across the world. The large number of participating countries attests to the truly global character of OCEANS and reflects the tremendous success witnessed over the past years towards engaging multinational teams in truly symbiotic approaches to the exploration and exploitation of the sea.


In spite of this trend, however, a sizeable number of countries continue to have reduced presence in OCEANS, notwithstanding the excellent quality of the work pursued in a large number of highly reputed national institutions. The reason for this is manifold and defies a simple analysis. We feel strongly that our community as a whole would benefit enormously from a more representative participation of such countries with a view to knowing each other better and to give impetus to cooperative actions at the scientific, technical, commercial, environmental, and societal levels. As a contribution to meeting this goal, we envision and welcome the participation of what, for the lack of a better word, we may call under-represented countries, as a means to engage into fruitful discussions with groups therein that are keen to broaden their horizons on marine-related affairs and have taken solid steps in this direction. In a nutshell, a small but solid step towards a more inclusive Oceans community. This is especially relevant at a time when we are witnessing the call for intensive cooperation worldwide as envisioned in the implementation plan of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030.


In line with the above, we are warmly inviting our colleagues in traditionally under-represented countries to participate actively in the virtual component of OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto, hosted in Portugal. It is for this reason that we hereby encourage you and other members of your group to attend the technical and plenary sessions remotely, and participate in round-table discussions. Notice that in spite of being virtual, the Porto sessions will take place at assigned times, according to a schedule that will be distributed, with each session keeping the format of paper presentations followed by Q&As. We will be pleased to help in any way that we can; simply drop an email at one of the addresses below. As a token of encouragement and appreciation for your participation, we anticipate being able to waive the registration fees for a number of attendees from selected institutions from under-represented countries in South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia that have taken solid steps towards building R&D groups of excellence in the areas of marine science and technology.


We truly look forward to having you join the event in Porto, attending the sessions, and participating actively in the discussions. We remain at your disposal to clarify any issues.


Kind regards and warm wishes

The OCEANS Porto Co-Chairs

António Pascoal (IST)                                    Eduardo Silva (ISEP)                      João Borges de Sousa (FEUP)