The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) says its annual awards program has been improved for this year.
Recognizing accomplishments in marine electronics, NMEA's Awards Committee has announced changes to its NMEA Product of Excellence Awards and NMEA Technology Award. The awards will be presented at the 2016 NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference and Expo on September 22 in Naples, Florida.
Three new product categories have been added to the NMEA Product of Excellence Awards:
• Commercial Products,
• Multimedia Entertainment, and
• Safety and Security
These categories have been added to current, active categories that include Fishfinders, Radars, Autopilots, Multi-function Displays (MFD), Satellite Communications Antennas, Marine VHF Radios, Satellite TV Antennas, AIS, Underwater Lights, NMEA 2000 Sensors, Marine Apps – Aids to Navigation, Marine Apps – Utility, and Marine Cameras. These awards are determined by a vote of NMEA members.
Manufacturers who wish to nominate products must do so on the NMEA website by July 15. On-line voting will begin on July 26.
A separate award, the NMEA Technology Award, honours a single product as the most innovative among those nominated by manufacturers. This award is selected by an independent panel of judges appointed by the NMEA Awards Committee. The make-up of this panel has been changed to include two NMEA Certified Marine Electronics Technicians (CMETs) and three marine electronics journalists. Manufacturers who wish to nominate their flagship product must do so on the NMEA website by no later than September 2.
"We're all excited about this year's enhanced awards program,' said Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President and Executive Director. "Like in 2015, we will see companies win awards that might not have been recognized before. The addition of three new categories reflects the technology expansion in the marine electronics market. Most significantly, the addition of a commercial award category strengthens NMEA's expansion into the high seas and commercial market. We welcome any commercial manufacturer to become part of NMEA and enter their products.'
All NMEA members get one vote per category. Additionally, NMEA accredited installers and technicians who have passed the NMEA's MEI, AMEI, NMEA 2000, Advanced NMEA 2000, or CMET tests can vote independently within their respective member company.
Founded in 1957, the NMEA has led the way in establishing technical standards for data exchange in marine electronics, with the widely accepted NMEA 0183 data protocol, NMEA 2000 and certification standards for marine electronics technicians.