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The International Ocean Science and Technology Industry Association (IOSTIA) officially launched Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Located in Washington, D.C., IOSTIA is geared toward providing a trade organization for marine companies who don’t fit into existing associations, which are often geared toward offshore oil and gas industries.

A 501(c)(6) organization, IOSTIA has the ability to lobby on Capitol Hill, and its leaders hope to provide members a unified voice on issues and broaden the conversation on marine science and technology.

IOSTIA is geared toward the following technology service sectors: renewable ocean energy; environmental monitoring protection; fisheries and aquaculture; marine science; maritime security; ocean mining; marine telecommunications; autonomous vehicles; offshore wind energy; oceanography; subsea mining; sensors; arctic change; marine archaeology; ocean observations; hydrography; ports and infrastructure; diving and manned exploration.

An ocean technology company, with no serious connection with oil and gas, may find itself uncomfortably jammed into a petroleum-related association because it is the closest option. Companies like this shouldn’t have to settle… IOSTIA fits that need.

—CEO Rich Lawson

As an international organization, IOSTIA appeals to global “blue-tech” companies and plans to engage with foreign embassies in Washington D.C. and assist international companies who are entering the U.S. market. IOSTIA CEO Richard Lawson says the organization is open to companies of all sizes, from one-man consultancies to multi-national corporations.

The organization also offers forums where members can engage with topics such as emerging technologies, grants and contracting, international business and development for young professionals. There is also a commercial service program and business savings program.

IOSTIA plans to put marine technologies in front of members of congress through fairs on capitol hill (the first to be held June 4, 2018) as well as bringing companies into contact with agencies like DOE, NOAA and NASA, says IOSTIA Public Policy VP Jeffrey Taylor, “so that they are always up-to-speed on the cutting edge in the areas of ocean science, technology and energy.”

Watch a Maritime TV interview with Taylor and IOSTIA CEO Rich Lawson about the launch or learn more about the organization at www.iostia.org.