Like Theseus negotiating the labyrinth, I will be taking a ball of string to this year’s METSTRADE show which takes place 14-16 November at Amsterdam RAI. The vast exhibition halls are always crammed with interesting and sometimes innovative products – hardly surprising, given that METSTRADE is the world’s largest B2B leisure marine equipment show. This year, however – alongside the general show area and the SuperYacht, Marine & Yard, and Construction Material pavilions – there will be another interesting corner to seek out. It is called the E-nnovationLAB.
Making its debut at this year’s METSTRADE, the E-nnovationLAB will be showcasing new technologies in order to promote cleaner and more sustainable production and processes. It seems particularly timely. Hybrid technology is growing in popularity in the superyacht sector both for the mother ship and for tenders and toys, and the environmental awareness of owners and the superyacht industry in general is beginning to emerge as a prominent force in the design, construction and operation of yachts.
Companies currently participating in the E-nnovationLAB include Amphenol, E-TECH Electric Drives, EnerSys, Lynch Motor Company and Oceanvolt, Torqeedo and Transfluid. The platform will focus particularly on electric and hybrid projects that are either planned or already underway at a variety of leisure boat and yacht builders. “Rarely the result of one person’s work,” explains Andrea Fabretti, managing director of Marine Diesel SPA and a member of the METSTRADE innovation content committee, “new technologies are the fruit of a large number of people who develop systems for multiple applications. This vision is a prerequisite for the best outcome. The METSTRADE show hosts many high-tech companies and provides them with the best platform to foster advances in yacht technology which respond to a collective need for improvement. A perfect example are the hybrid technologies that improve the overall utilisation of a yacht and its environmental footprint – these are by definition a result of the union of various principles and techniques.”
ICOMIA is also fully behind the introduction of the E-nnovationLAB. “We see this as an excellent opportunity for leisure boat builders, designers and many others within the leisure marine industry to become fully acquainted with future technologies involving advanced electrical & hybrid drive systems,” enthuses Patrick Hemp, ICOMIA’s technical manager. “This kind of initiative deserves our focused support as we prepare to address the challenges faced with reducing our environmental footprint whilst at the same time enhancing a customer’s overall experience this industry has to offer.”
“The worldwide automotive industry is shifting its primary development focus to electric vehicles,” adds Nigel Calder, former technical director of the EU Hybrid Marne project (HYMAR). “This will bring us powerful new batteries which will remove the single greatest obstacle to a similar shift in focus in the leisure marine world. The E-nnovationLAB is a perfectly timed initiative to help the leisure marine world get up to speed with these new technologies, enabling us to play our part in promoting environmentally responsible boating.”
RAI Amsterdam is also calling further contributions, ideas and submissions to the E-nnovationLAB. If you would like to participate or have particular suggestions, the METSTEADE project team would be happy to hear from you, and they can be contacted via email at email@example.com . For me, I shall be scouring the halls – when I can tear myself away from the extensive programme of The Superyacht Forum of course – and I shall make sure that my ball of string is made from fully sustainably sourced materials. Theseus would be proud.
Technology will also be a key focus in this year’s The Superyacht Forum, taking place 13-16 November at Amsterdam RAI alongside the METSTRADE show. Following a theme of A 10-year Blueprint for the Superyacht Market, the forum is set to be the networking highlight of the superyacht calendar, with 800 delegates and key decision makers from the technology, operations, owner and family office, project management, yard and construction sectors brought together to discuss the key factors affecting and influencing our industry. To book your place and for further information, click here.