Monch interviews Mr Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events Pte Ltd
This year will be the 12th edition of IMDEX, could you please tell us how the show has evolved since its beginnings?
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 collaboration 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.
IMDEX Asia has gained recognition over the years as the global strategic platform to address pressing issues within the naval and maritime security industry, showcase the latest naval technologies and connect key players from navies, governments and industry. In the last edition, there was a record participation by the global maritime security and naval defence forces - 25 chief of navies and 73 VIP delegations from 45 countries - underscoring the show’s growing importance.
This year, we are expecting over 200 companies participating in IMDEX, including some 20 new exhibitors. We are also expecting more than 20 chief of navies and director generals.
IMDEX keeps ahead of the curve by constantly addressing topical concerns and technology developments. The upcoming edition will incorporate the latest innovations as well as cybersecurity issues in the maritime domain via its business forums.
Do you feel that, with the increasing maritime strategic importance of the Asia Pacific region, IMDEX Asia is as a result also gaining significant importance? If so, what are the telling signs?
The global market for maritime and border security is expected to increase from US$21 Billion in 2017 to nearly US$30 Billion by 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate of around 3.3% percent during the forecast period and a cumulative value of US$270 billion. The growth is expected to be dominated by Asia Pacific, followed by North America and Europe, with Asia Pacific accounting for over 41% of market share, largely driven by the ongoing and planned future procurement programmes of China, India, South Korea, Australia and Japan, among others.
Naval defence will extend beyond maritime boundaries, and will require integrated defence solutions and innovative approaches to tackle the complex security landscape in Asia Pacific. This growth is fuelled by fast-evolving threats, rising global tensions, persistent piracy and the need to upgrade and modernise equipment.
The fact that IMDEX has consistently drawn the attendance of high numbers of chief of navies and director generals as well as the participation of leading companies, both returning and new, is testament to its growing importance as a key platform to address these issues.
This year's edition of IMDEX will introduce What's Next @ IMDEX, could you please tell us what were the drivers behind the development of this new strategic platform?
The What’s Next @ IMDEX showcase aims to act as a platform for start-ups to launch and showcase their products and innovations to potential partners, customers, and investors, to explore opportunities in the maritime, defence and security sectors.
We hope 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.
We saw success in the inaugural What’s Next showcase at the Singapore Airshow 2018, featuring nearly 70 start-ups from 9 countries, and we want to continue offering this launch-pad for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their latest work and products at IMDEX Asia 2019.
How do you expect What's Next @ IMDEX to contribute to technological development and innovation? Will it facilitate the development of relationships between industry innovators and navies?
What’s Next @ IMDEX provides start-ups with the platform to showcase their revolutionary innovative technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Cyber Security, to shake up the maritime defence and security sectors.
Based on the Shipyard 4.X Challenge theme, start-ups are invited to share their innovative ideas and technologies in these four areas:
• Naval bases, ports and shipyards
Solutions to improve various systems in ports and shipyards through ‘smart’ technology
• Shipbuilding & MRO
Solutions to help shipbuilders and maintenance officers increase their efficiency
• Supply chain & logistics support
Solutions to ensure a smooth end-to-end supply chain and logistics processes
• Ship operations
Solutions for smart and connected ships, autonomous technologies and alternative energy
These start-ups will also have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to potential end-users and corporate customers at IMDEX Asia such as ST Engineering, Saab, Thales and the Republic of Singapore Navy, and stand a chance to collaborate with these corporate partners to implement or test-bed their solution.