Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside

Speakers and agenda for Maritime Exchange confirmed!

By Mersey Maritime

Liverpool will once again welcome some of the biggest names in the UK’s powerhouse maritime sector next week for the second Mersey Maritime, Maritime Exchange Conference. The event will be fully virtual this year but that hasn’t diminished in any way the interest and engagement for the conference which was received with great acclaim by all who attended when it was launched in 2019.

The Maritime Exchange will take place on Thursday 15 October during a major focus on the sector, coming as it does during Maritime UK Week. And this year the agenda has been designed to be topical to both current events and future priorities for the industry. Two panel discussions will compliment a number of keynote speeches and an exciting update on the long-awaited Maritime Knowledge Hub, the £23 million key project at the heart of the Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters regeneration scheme.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, will host the proceedings using the very best possible digital streaming services via a professional studio arranged by Mersey Maritime’s events partner, Meet&Potato. Despite only being appointed a few weeks ago, the new Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, will address the conference and open the whole afternoon.

The first panel discussion will have a focus around ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’, issues thrown into sharp relief by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the line-up of speakers is confirmed as:

  • Ben Murray – Director of Maritime UK – Chair
  • Ben Ludzker – CEO of Kays Medical
  • Cecilia Harvey – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Cdr Simon Howell – NPS Executive SO1 at The Royal Navy
  • Mark Dickinson – General Secretary of Nautilus International

The conference will then move into the key update on the Maritime Knowledge Hub Project, with Nusrat Ghani MP (former Maritime Minister and Member of the BEIS Select Committee) giving an introductory speech. Ms Ghani visited the project in January this year as part of a tour of the region and gave her enthusiastic backing to it moving forward. Following a short film and updates from supporters of the project, Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development at Wirral Waters, Peel L&P will address the meeting, updating attendees on the very latest news and leaving everyone with a clear call to action.

Finally, following a keynote speech from CEO of BMT, Vice Chair (and Chair-elect) of Maritime UK, Sarah Kenny, a panel debate on ‘Technology and Innovation’ will round off the proceedings. The line-up for this section is confirmed as:

  • Caroline Price – Director Green Ports at Royal HaskoningDHV – Chair
  • Clive Hickman – CEO of The Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • Prof. Mark Gillian – Strength in Places Fund Programme Director at Artemis Technologies Ltd
  • Kevin Smith – Founder of Maritime Digital


Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“Mersey Maritime hasn’t gone away during the very challenging period of the COVID-19 lockdown and crisis. At the outset of the pandemic we were determined to maintain our relevance to our membership and the wider sector as a whole. This Maritime Exchange event is testament to this fact and offers us, once again, the opportunity to showcase our fantastic maritime industry both here in the Liverpool City Region and on a national scale.  The programme of activity we have put together, on issues that are of direct relevance to the industry both now and in the future, takes place during Maritime UK Week when the eyes of the country will be on the industry, with regional activity at the forefront of this.

“We know that businesses and individuals have been very focused on the importance of health and wellbeing amongst their staff and clients in recent months. Our conference will shine a light on the many best practice examples that have come to the fore as people deal with unprecedented challenges, not least around seafarers who have often been stranded on vessels for weeks on end to the practical steps businesses are implementing to protect and sustain their workforce. We also know that the maritime sector sits at a critical juncture as we continually innovate and move forward with new technologies and ideas, from efficiencies at our ports to the generational challenge of decarbonisation. Our panel of experts will deep dive into this incredibly prescient subject at the present time. And we believe the Maritime Knowledge Hub project which we have been proud to champion for many years now can have a crucial role to play in this agenda going forward. We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer a really exciting and interesting update on this transformational concept.

“We urge everyone interested in these subjects and in the maritime sector as a whole to register to attend. It definitely won’t just be another Zoom meeting!”

The conference is free to attend for businesses operating in and supporting the maritime industry. Registration is still live and available via the link:


Mersey Maritime
About Mersey Maritime
Mersey Maritime is the representative body for the Maritime Sector and related industry sectors operating across the Liverpool City Region. We work with businesses of all sizes and in all locations to develop strong, market-responsive supply chains and promote Liverpool’s maritime industry as a world class Centre of Excellence.


Mersey Maritime is one of Europe’s most successful maritime cluster organisations, representing the interests of over 1700 Maritime, Logistics and Energy businesses on Merseyside and beyond.

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Speakers and agenda for Maritime Exchange confirmed!