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The METSTRADE Show is the world’s largest B2B trade exhibition for leisure marine equipment. Focussing on innovation, market developments, and on-site networking, the METSTRADE show provides a broad range of marine opportunities and industry debate all under one roof.

Taking place across three innovation-packed days on 19 to 21 November, METSTRADE, located in RAI exhibition venue in Amsterdam, continues to grow in size and influence. More than 1,500 exhibitors will showcase their wares this year, including newcomers such as Suzuki, Nuova Protex, NOCO and Nautinov, not to mention 334 exhibitors spread across three halls in the sold-out SuperYacht Pavilion. As METS continues to evolve and develop, the central concept of the show remains the same – an annual homeport for the global leisure marine community to gather in a hospitable and productive environment.

Sustainable Talking Point

Since 2015 there has been a strong focus at METS on staging forums around the issues of sustainability within the leisure marine industry. The show has achieved this in cooperation with long-standing show partner ICOMIA. The expert panel discussions have covered topics such as the disposal and recycling of end-of-life boats, developments in electric and hybrid propulsion, life cycle assessment and circular economy and ocean conservation projects.

Irene Dros, Maritime Director at the RAI, explains: “During the past five years we have been actively increasing the number of sustainability initiatives at three distinct levels. This includes reaching out, networking and sharing information about sustainability driven initiatives at industry level, establishing the I-nnovationLAB and E-nnovationLAB concepts at show level, and leading by example with environmentally responsible facility management at venue level.”

The Theme of Sustainability

The environmental sustainability theme continues for 2019, with day one tackling the issue of ‘The Challenge of Global Biofouling’. Bio-fouling and biodiversity are the subjects of a global project task force called GloFouling, established under the auspices of IMO (International Maritime Organisation). One of the project’s main tasks over a five-year period will be to develop best practices that may address the transfer of invasive aquatic species through improved biofouling management; not just from shipping, but from all marine sectors.

‘How Green is Green in the Leisure Marine World?’ was the theme of a panel discussion which took place at the InnovationLAB Stage during last year’s show. The diversity of subjects ranged from design for disassembly through to the status of electric and hybrid propulsion systems, and day two in 2019 will provide an updated status review 12 months on. The topic of End-of Use Boats – those built from virtually indestructible GRP (fiberglass) in the 70’s and 80’s – will also be debated.

Breakfast and Briefings

Feadship Director Henk de Vries will deliver this year’s Breakfast Briefing keynote at the opening of METS on the morning of Tuesday 19 November, which will also feature the ICOMIA-hosted award ceremony for the world-famous DAME – Design Award.

In addition, the third edition of the Round Table dedicated to boat building construction and materials will be held on 19 and 20 November. Established in 2017, the Round Table sessions bring together leaders in the marine sector in an informal and lively setting to exchange opinions and experiences on the very latest developments. This year will feature two key topics, namely ‘Fatigue behaviour of composite vessels under slamming’ and ‘How to improve composite design thanks to better failure understanding – the latest news on the Recycling of (fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boats.’ The panel of experts include Sergio Abrami (Studio Sergio Abrami YD), Stefano Beltrando (QI Composites), Giovanni Ceccarelli (Ceccarelli Yacht Design), Mario Malinconico (Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials), Luca Olivari (OlivariEng) and Paolo Schito (Politecnico di Milano).

Networking in Force

The International HISWA Marine Symposium on Yacht Design and Yacht Construction, which celebrated its Golden Jubilee last year, will take place on Thursday 21 November in the Marine & Yard Pavilion, while the annual Superyacht Forum, hosted by the Superyacht Group – organised to shine a light on the latest developments in the field of yachting and yacht design every year – will take place throughout the duration of the exhibition.

METS will culminate with a session that shines a light on Water Revolution Foundation, the non-profit’s first strategic trade show partner, highlighting the need to drive sustainability in the superyacht industry through collaboration and innovation.

“We’re keen about sustainability and when we heard about Water Revolution’s mission to reduce the ecological footprint of the superyachting industry, the question wasn’t whether we should support the foundation, but rather, how”, says Dros. “This partnership will work both ways. METSTRADE has been a strong B2B platform for many years and we can now utilise this position to help accelerate the shift.”