I-Tech AB, the developers of the antifouling biotechnology, Selektope®, and the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden will host R&D professionals from the coatings industry, ship owning and operating companies, and academia at the International Antifouling Conference 2022 to discuss future antifouling solutions and connect novel research efforts with the industry and end users.

The inaugural International Antifouling Conference 2022 will be held on September 13-14 in the iconic Eriksberg shipyard area in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and funding from the Västra Götalandregionen (Sweden). The principal corporate sponsor for the conference is specialty chemicals company, Lanxess.

The accumulation of marine biofouling on the hull is extremely detrimental to ship performance since it increases hydrodynamic drag when a ship sails through water. This results in a ship having to burn more fuel to maintain a set speed or suffer speed losses if operating on fixed shaft power. This means that biofouling brings added costs, added emissions, and added maintenance requirements if hull cleaning is periodically required.

While the maritime industry is taking steps to decarbonise, rising oceanic and coastal water temperatures mean that the risk of biofouling is increasing, and fouling conditions will only intensify. Antifouling coatings are the best line of defence against biofouling, but the technology must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the maritime industry.

This challenge will form the basis of discussions at the conference where experts within the field can share insights into current and future antifouling solutions. Dr. Markus Hoffman, Technical Director at I-Tech has played a leading role in developing the conference program with Mattias Berglin, Senior Research Scientist at RISE, he comments: “The idea for this initiative was sparked when one of the principal forums where the R&D community from the marine coatings sector gather on an annual basis was once again postponed due to the global health crisis. Since antifouling coatings play such a pivotal role in the decarbonisation efforts of the global fleet, and the risk profile of biofouling is increasing, a platform to discuss the pros and cons of current technology and discuss novel solutions and progressions is particularly important at this moment in time.”

Mattias Berglin, Senior Research Scientist at RISE, says: “We have already attracted a very high-level speaker program to the conference which confirms the need for this platform. Having academia, industry, and end users in one room discussing challenges and solutions will bring unique perspectives and insights for all involved.”

Keynote addresses will be delivered by representatives from Hempel, Université de Toulon, and Stena Teknik. Confirmed speakers include; Akzo Nobel, Unesco, Steen-Hansen, American Chemet, Chalmers University of Technology, SSPA, CorPower Ocean, Keel Crab, Annex3, Marine Benchmark, Marine Benchmark, Aerogel, Endurance, Tecnalia, Boero in addition to insights from I-Tech and RISE.

The full conference program can be viewed here: Antifouling Conference 2022 (confetti.events)