MEMBER NEWS: EMEC managing director takes home Outstanding Contribution Award

March 5, 2024
MEMBER NEWS: EMEC managing director takes home Outstanding Contribution Award

EMEC’s managing director, Neil Kermode OBE, has been awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Subsea Expo Awards 2024.

Organised by Global Underwater Hub (GUH), the annual Subsea Expo Awards celebrate the achievements of companies and individuals working across the oil and gas, decommissioning, offshore energy, defence, aquaculture and marine science sectors.

This year’s Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Neil Kermode OBE, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

For the past 20 years, Neil has dedicated his career to combatting climate change, identifying, innovating and trialling solutions that can reduce carbon emissions and driving the global development of the marine renewable energy sector.

This commitment to a carbon-free society has resulted in many ‘first of its kind’ experimental projects at EMEC spanning marine energy technologies, subsea data centres, green hydrogen demonstrations, and the creation of sustainable aviation fuel.

As a passionate and unrelenting advocate for marine renewables, Neil has driven the development of EMEC and the UK’s marine energy industry, lobbying for regulatory and policy change and pushing for public sector support to cement the UK as the centre of the wave and tidal energy industry.

Under Neil’s stewardship, more marine energy technologies have demonstrated at EMEC in Orkney than anywhere else in the world.

Sue Barr, Chair, UK Marine Energy Council, nominated Neil for the award:

“The GUH Outstanding Contribution Award seeks to find people who really have given their all for their industry. Neil personifies this, with his work at EMEC but also more broadly. His thoughtful approach to how we describe and place the marine energy industry in a turbulent policy and global landscape has been inspirational and we are lucky to have him championing the marine energy sector.”

Neil Kermode OBE, managing director of EMEC said:

“I am genuinely grateful for the award from this important industry. The work done underwater every day in Scotland is remarkable and the skills and equipment used are exactly what we will need to help make offshore wind, tidal and wave energies a success. I’m delighted that my small contribution through my work at EMEC to these burgeoning sectors is recognised and believe this shows the transition the oil and gas sector is making towards renewables.”

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Global Underwater Hub, said:

“The Subsea Expo Awards recognise the innovators, collaborators, exporters, companies and individuals leading the way in the underwater industry. What the awards show year on year is the strength and diversity of the UK’s underwater supply chain as well as the talent and expertise working across it.”


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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise