TMA’s 2023 Strategy

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TMA’s 2023 Strategy

(and why it’s never been a better time to be a member)

As TMA BlueTech launches its 2023 activities, we can reflect on our successes from 2022 and seek to build upon these successes to create outstanding value for our members for this coming year and beyond. For both our existing and prospective members of TMA BlueTech, this letter will articulate the successes we realized in 2022, and outline what our strategic plan is for 2023.

Highlights from 2022

Before we get into our strategy and goals for 2023, let’s review the successes we achieved for 2022. These successes included:

1. Hosting the 14th annual BlueTech Week: 404 tickets sold | 110 speakers | Participants from 11 countries

2. Hosting 9 BlueTech Global Connects events, which featured 41 speakers and welcomed 1,064 registrants.

3. A 40% increase in TMA’s membership

4. A 54% increase in our LinkedIn followers

5. An 18% increase in our mailing list

6. Winning the prestigious US Department of Commerce’s MDCP grant (funding defrays costs for TMA member companies to attend international trade shows)

7. Hosting the release event for the SD Maritime Water and BlueTech Economy 2020 Report in May. Attended by Nathan Fletcher (Chairman, San Diego Board of Supervisors), Todd Gloria (Mayor of San Diego), US Congressman Scott Peters, Dan Malcolm (former Chair for the Port of San Diego’s Board of Commissioners), and many others.

Our Strategic Plan for 2023

The above highlights are a simple indication of TMA’s dynamic, post-COVID trajectory. As 2023 kicks off, we look forward to building upon the successes of 2022 (and then some!). Our main focus is, as always, to add as much value for our members as possible. One of the absolute best ways to do this is to provide forums where people can connect, network and open opportunities. We also realize the value of being able to focus our activities on specific economic sectors, while at the same time ensuring that there is a high degree of intersectionality between those economic sectors so as to ensure maximum interface possibilities for participating members.

In addition, we understand the value that member companies get when we provide trade opportunities abroad, when we can connect members to local, state and national policy makers, when we facilitate working groups where members can work with each other to open commercial opportunities, and where we can help member companies promote their companies via our engaged digital channels.

Moving forward into 2023, and seeking to add maximum value for our members, TMA will focus on the following eight areas:

1. Placing  strategic focus on four specific sectors

In order to be successful with any endeavor, strategic focus is crucial. That said, the blue economy is broad, encompassing many sectors. This makes it very challenging to provide maximum value for diverse members. It also makes it more difficult to have an actual impact on areas that we can influence via our vast, integrated networks.

Moving forward into 2023 and beyond, TMA will focus on four specific sectors that have a significant degree of intersectionality among them, which will allow for the maximum number of networking possibilities throughout the year. Our focus sectors are:

-       Offshore renewable energy (focus West Coast US)

-       Sustainable maritime/shipping

-       Space applications

-       Advanced water technologies

Each of the above sectors is very broad and will provide all of our members either direct or tangential networking opportunities. And as we all know, it is the sheer act of connecting that opens opportunities.

2. Facilitating sector-focused events

TMA is an industry organizer. As such we need to organize. Nothing is better for this than facilitating industry events that allow for meaningful connections to be made, and with a strong intention towards articulating and solving problems.

For 2023, TMA will facilitate events that focus on our four chosen sectors, as well as on workforce development, and policy. These events will allow for maximum engagement, especially for our members. We will soon announce our first confirmed events, and add additional events as we confirm them over the course of Q1.

3. Growing and deepening ties with strategic partners

One of the principal ways that we will open opportunities for our members is by continuing to forge and deepen working relations with key strategic partners. These partners will be clearly aligned with our focus sectors, and strongly integrated in the planning of our events.

4. Growing our membership base

TMA needs to have a growing and actively engaged membership base. This allows for more dual-use potentials, networking opportunities and commercial opportunities. As the highlights above indicated, last year we grew our member base by 40%. We are very proud of this accomplishment and we intend to continue this growth into 2023 and beyond.

5. Growing our digital presence

One of the best ways that we can help to promote our members’ needs and successes is to feature their stories via our digital channels. In order for our digital channels to be an asset for our members, we need to grow the number of followers for these channels, and produce useful content that engages our target audiences. As indicated above, in 2022 we grew our LinkedIn followers by 54%, and our email distribution list by 18%. Regarding our email distribution list, we can boast a consistent open rate of 25%-30%. This incredibly impressive statistic shows that we have a highly engaged readership. We will continue to grow our digital channels for even broader reach, which will allow our members to broaden theirs.

6. Opening  international trade opportunities

Via our affiliation with the BlueTech ClusterAlliance (which comprises 10 sustainable water/ocean clusters around the world), we afford our members access to international markets. In addition, through our MDCP grant, we will be able to defray significant costs for member companies to attend international trade shows, primarily of which will be the Ocean Business trade show in Southampton, UK from April 18-20.

7. Creating  stronger ties with local, state and federal policy makers

With the release of the SD Maritime Water and BlueTech Economy 2020 Report this past May, we demonstrated to key local policymakers the vast potential of the region’s sustainable blue economy. We will continue to build strong connections with local, state and federal policymakers via two bespoke events.(dates to be announced shortly). 

In addition (and something for which we are very excited), we will work with key partners to develop a sustainable Blue Economy legislative caucus in Sacramento.

8. Facilitating access to capital/investors

Finally, one of the central needs of so many of our members is access to investors. In addition to strengthening our connections with investors this year, we are happy to report that in late 2022, our cluster partner in Portugal, Forum Oceano, announced that they are creating a new platform. This platform will have the express goal of serving as a deal-flow facilitator, and will bring all member companies, in all of the BlueTech Cluster Alliance, onto one platform. This will allow for investors to shop for investment opportunities with ease, and allow for our member companies to have easier access to investors. Look for this platform to go online by Q2of this year.  

Matt Classen
Executive Director
TMA BlueTech

With the above in mind, there has never been a better time to be a member of TMA BlueTech. We look forward to working with our member companies throughout this year and beyond, to achieve common goals, to open both seen and unforeseen opportunities, and to play a leadership role in ushering in new, sustainable technologies that serve to resolve critical ocean and water needs, both now and into the future.  


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