Plymouth’s Blue Future Conference 2022

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The Plymouth Foundation - Cultivating Innovation & Economic Growth

The Now and Next of Plymouth’s Marine Economy
October 24 & 25, 2022

The ocean isn’t endless

Mayflower Autonomous Ship

“If the ocean were a nation, it would rank as the 7th largest economy in the world.

The collection of formal and informal marine jobs, products and services that it supports has been valued at $2.5 trillion a year.

Its value to the planet is even more profound. It covers almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface and produces over 50 percent of its oxygen.

It helps mitigate the effects of global warming, having absorbed 90 percent of the excess heat in today’s climate system and 20 to 30 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions since the 1980s. But it is suffering. And as a result, so are we.”

About the Blue Future Conference 2022

The Blue Future Conference 2022 is produced by economic development nonprofit The Plymouth Foundation and ProMare, the nonprofit behind the unmanned marine research vessel Mayflower Autonomous ship. This new conference will gather leaders and innovators from across the blue technology arena to explore the “now” and “next” of Plymouth’s marine economy.

Our marine environment is essential to the future of our region and our Commonwealth. Innovations in the collection, use, and application of research data are necessary if we are to meet the challenge of evaluating the current state and predicting future conditions of our rapidly changing marine ecosystems. 

The goal of the Blue Future Conference 2022, the Now and Next of Plymouth’s Marine Economy, is to introduce new and future technologies that support our traditional marine economy, advancing the management of marine resources, including fisheries, energy, aquaculture, sanctuaries, cultural heritage, and climate mitigation and adaptation.  

The centerpiece of this conference is the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), the first unmanned autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean using AI and edge computing. MAS ‘ arrival in the US exemplifies the technological advances needed now and in the future to nurture our oceans, find sustainable solutions to improve its health, and provide a strong and sustainable foundation for a new blue economy. 

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Media Partners

Community Partners


Speakers will explore ways to apply non-traditional data to fisheries assessments, renewable energy & aquaculture siting, cultural heritage, and other marine management applications. Presenters will share new technologies that could augment the utility of existing long-term sampling techniques, such as those provided by MAS; biodiversity sensor technologies like the work being done at WHOI and NOAA and novel forms of data collection (e.g, environmental DNA, chemical tracers, and larval fish otolith analysis). 


DAY 1: Ben Kinnaman

Lunch Keynote Speaker 12:00pm

Ben Kinnaman

Ben Kinnaman is CEO and President of Greensea Systems, Inc., Armach Robotics, Inc., and Bayonet Ocean Vehicles, Inc. With a B.S. in Physics and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in control and robotics, from Johns Hopkins University, Ben founded Greensea to develop the open architecture software platform, OPENSEA®. OPENSEA has allowed Greensea, with its partners, to quickly field novel technologies and advance operational capabilities throughout the subsea industry. Working with technology developed by Greensea, Ben founded Armach Robotics to revolutionize ship husbandry by harnessing the intelligence and autonomy of robotics. In 2022, Ben acquired the intellectual property of a vehicle developed on OPENSEA that provides autonomous mine countermeasures within the surfzone and launched Bayonet Ocean Vehicles to grow and scale the crawling vehicle.

DAY 2: Brett Phaneuf

Breakfast Guest Speaker 9:00am

Brett Phaneuf

Brett Phaneuf is the founder and chief executive of Submergence Group LLC (USA) / M Subs Ltd (UK) and through his office in the United Kingdom overseas the design and production of manned and unmanned, underwater vehicle systems.  A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Phaneuf has recently turned his attention to machine learning and artificial intelligence; a new company (Marine Ai) has been spun out from M Subs Ltd with the goal of creating cognitive AI to enhance maritime capabilities by drawing on decades of experience in manned and unmanned marine vehicle design, manufacture and operations, coupled with vast experience in automation and autonomous systems software architecture, and computer vision expertise.  Brett is also one of three founding board members of ProMare, a non-profit (501c3) public charity founded in 2001 to promote marine exploration throughout the world. He is the co-creator and project of Promare’s Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS).

DAY 2: Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

Keynote Speaker 12:00pm

Karyn Polito

Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will keynote day 2 of the Blue Future Conference 2022, Oct. 24-25, 2022, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Lt. Governor Polito is the Chair of the Seaport Economic Council, which awarded nearly $10.8 million in grants earlier this year to help coastal communities advance projects that benefit commercial maritime industries, improve resident and visitor access to waterfront assets, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and advance future dredging.

The Seaport Economic Council serves all 78 of the Commonwealth’s coastal communities. The Council awards grant funding to municipalities and other entities in support of projects that promote job creation and economic growth, transformative public-private partnerships, educational opportunities for young people, local economic development planning efforts, coastal infrastructure improvements, and the planning and permitting of saltwater dredging. With its most recent round of grants, the Seaport Economic Council has invested approximately $77 million through 164 grants in 54 coastal communities since 2015.


Ocean Harvest: Aquaculture, Kelp and other products from the sea

Kevin Madley
Kevin Madley,
Aquaculture Coordinator – NOAA Fisheries Service
William 'Skip' Bennett
William Bennett (AKA Skip),
Founder and Owner – Island Creek Oysters
David Gould,
Director of the Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs, Town of Plymouth
Christian M. Petitpas,
Senior Biologist and Aquaculture Coordinator
Shellfish Sanitation and Management Program
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Gabriel Lundgren,
Shellfish Biologist and Aquaculture Specialist
Shellfish Sanitation and Management Program
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

Marine Technology in Practice

Captain Pete DeCola, US Coast Guard (retired)
Captain Pete DeCola,
US Coast Guard (retired),
Superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Lieutenant Commander Mason Wilcox,
Chief, Inspections and Investigations Branch – First Coast Guard District Prevention Division at U.S. Coast Guard
Ron Palermo
Ron Palermo,
Business Development Director, North America for Silicon Sensing Systems
David Pearson, CMarTech,
Senior Robotics Engineer at Greensea Systems, Inc.
Geoffrey Newman
Geoffrey Newman,
International Business Development Director for Silicon Sensing Systems

The Blue Workforce

Danny Badger
Danny Badger,
Marine Extension Specialist – MIT Sea Grant
Laura Buckley
Laura Buckley,
Deputy Executive Director, MassHire South Shore Workforce Board
Tammi Jacobsen,
Director of Workforce Development and Training for The Center for Corporate and Professional Education (CCAPE) at Cape Cod Community College
Dr. Jim McKenna,
Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Massachusetts Maritime Academy


Blue Future Conference 2022, the Now and Next of Plymouth’s Marine Economy features keynotes, general session presentations, panels, and an education and workforce development session to introduce students to the jobs available and education needed to grow our marine economy.


Join us for an evening or Art and Science at the beautiful Plymouth Center for the Arts, Monday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 when acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen will introduce you an world below the surface. With a focus on environmental conservation, Keith seeks to invoke a sense of discovery and create intimate personal connections to inspire social change and a global understanding of the world around us. Keith photographed the River Herring of Plymouth’s Town Brook, and currently has an outdoor, large format exhibit on the outside of the New England Aquarium.

This reception is free to Blue Future conference participants and invited guests. A suggested donation of $10 per person is greatly appreciated.

Stay overnight at the Hotel 1620!

On-line reservations may be made on by choosing Book Your Stay and entering the PROMO code BLUE.  Please make sure you are on the home page of the Hotel 1620, and not in a third-party reservations site.


Who Should Attend

  • Owners/employees of traditional marine businesses
  • Owners/employees/investors of Marine Tech businesses
  • Local and State officials interested in advancing Marine Economy in their areas
  • High School Teachers and Students interested in entering the Blue Workforce
  • Colleges interested in promoting their technology, engineering and other adjacent skills to this industry and future students
  • College Professors and Students who want to learn more about opportunities in Marine businesses
  • Lenders who want to know more about supporting the Marine Economy
  • Anyone interested in our Marine Economy and its future

Stay overnight at the Hotel 1620!

On-line reservations may be made on by choosing Book Your Stay and entering the PROMO code BLUE.  Please make sure you are on the home page of the Hotel 1620, and not in a third-party reservations site.


  • Greensea Systems
  • Bayonet Ocean Vehicles
  • Armach Robotics
  • Silicon Systems
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Mass Maritime
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bristol Community College
  • Plymouth Foundation
  • Promare
  • Tech Etch
  • Tiny & Sons Glass
  • Dept of Marine & Environmental
  • CLEAR Labs
  • NOAA Stellwagen Bank & Fisheries
  • Island Creek Oysters
  • MIT Sea Grant
  • MassHire
  • Clean Seas
  • Blue Institute Labs
  • Cape Cod Five
  • See Plymouth
  • Wood Hole Sea Grant
  • Massachusetts Marine Trade Assoc