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Exclusive Interview: Leck Chet Lam

: May 13, 2019 - : 12:50 pm

The biennial IMDEX Asia naval show has emerged as an important event in the global naval and maritime security calendar. The 6th edition of the show features numerous new initiatives that are expected to further enhance the appeal of IMDEX and ensure its continued relevance in an important and rapidly changing industry. Aprajita Anil speaks with Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events Pte Ltd, who outlines how the maritime defence show addresses the changing dynamics of the region.

Edited excerpts of the interview:

What will set the 12th edition of IMDEX Asia different from its previous versions?

Since its inception, IMDEX Asia has firmly anchored itself as a platform of choice for key stakeholders in the naval and maritime defence industry to foster engagement, drive collabo- ration and create new opportunities for partnerships. The event has shaped the evolution of technological trends, sparked conversations and played an important and impactful role as a catalyst in propelling growth in the industry.

This year, we are expecting to welcome some 10,500 attendees from 65 countries and regions to IMDEX Asia, and are pleased to welcome over 230 participating companies from 30 countries. Of the participating companies, over 70 per cent are returning participants, and 20 of them are new participants. We are also expecting 22 chiefs of navy and directors-general of coast guards and maritime agencies to attend the show.

Making its debut at the 12th edition of IMDEX Asia is What’s Next @ IMDEX, a strategic platform for start-ups and their revolutionary innovative technologies to shake up the maritime defence and security sectors.

Via the Shipyard 4.X Challenge, we aim to give start-ups access to potential customers from around the world at IMDEX Asia, to pitch to potential end-users, gather feedback and eventually collaborate with a corporate partner to implement or test bed their solutions.

The event will also see the launch of a Maritime Campus, a 360° platform which aims to groom emerging maritime leaders, to educate the next generation on the maritime and naval defence industry and to showcase higher education opportunities and careers in the arena. About 1,000 secondary and tertiary students and full-time national servicemen are expected to attend this inaugural edition.

This exemplifies our consistent effort to re-innovate and improve upon our capabilities as Asia Pacific’s leading naval and maritime defence show, proving IMDEX Asia’s growing importance as a strategic global platform to connect key players from navies, governments and industry, to showcase the latest naval technologies and to address pressing issues within the naval and maritime security sphere.

How will IMDEX Asia 2019 address the converging trend towards integrated defence systems?

As we witness the dramatic convergence of maritime capabilities and innovations, it is imperative to track the evolution of integrated defence technologies and solutions across air, land and sea, to facilitate integration and tap on synergies to bolster defence efforts at IMDEX Asia 2019.

This includes innovations such as amphibious vehicles, counter-terrorism, network-centric defence systems and special-forces equipment, as well as cyber defence and electronics warfare. Technologies in the area of surveillance and tracking, weather monitoring, access control, screening and scanning, geographic information system and supervisory control and data acquisition, underwater surveillance, video surveillance and automatic identification systems (AIS) will also be exhibited.

Similar to the growth of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in air defence and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) in ground defence, Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and underwater drones are seeing exciting growth and innovative applications in naval defence and maritime security. Visitors to IMDEX Asia will get to witness the latest technological developments in this new unmanned sector.

What are some of the most important topics that the conferences and forums would delve upon?

IMDEX Asia 2019 will host the sixth edition of the strategic high-level International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC), which is themed “Safe and Secure Seas: Promoting Mutual Security in our Maritime Commons”.

Leading experts and academia from around the world will focus on a cooperative security approach to create critical capabilities that will enhance the safety of our complex maritime landscape. The conference will feature four interesting panels viz. Assessing the Current Rules-based Maritime Order, Maintaining Peace in our Maritime Commons, Strengthening Cooperation, Engendering Trust and a Single-Speaker Panel.

Complementing the IMSC is the debut of two business forums, which will focus on Cybersecurity in the Maritime Domain and Innovation in the Maritime Domain. In the former forum, industry experts will explore how technologies in cybersecurity is changing the landscape of the defence sector; while in the latter, key conversations will examine how innovations are further changing the way navies operate.

IMDEX Asia keeps ahead of the curve by constantly addressing topical concerns and technology developments in its strategic conferences and forums, engaging with key inter- national defence buyers, government agencies and industry leaders on opportunities, challenges, solutions and strategies facing the maritime and naval sectors.

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