The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference Innovation Awards are now open.
Winners will be announced Sept. 15 at IBEX during the annual industry breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
They honor achievement in product development in 13 areas of the marine industry, including boatbuilding methods and materials, inboard and outboard engines, hardware, interior parts and furnishings, OEM electronics, boatyard and dealer hardware and software, and safety equipment.
Judges may also present an award to any entry that provides an environmental benefit to the industry.
Products entered in the Innovation Awards program are displayed during all three days of the show on Innovation Way inside the IBEX exhibit hall.
The deadline for submissions is Aug. 12.
"The IBEX Innovation Awards are an opportunity to showcase our industry's ongoing product development while recognizing individual companies for their leadership in building innovative products," National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. "We are privileged to work with Boating Writers International and its highly qualified panel of judges, who help make the Innovation Awards one of the most prestigious awards in the marine industry and shine a light on the importance of innovation to the continued success of our industry."
The panel of BWI judges for the 2015 IBEX Innovation Awards includes:
- Lead judge Alan Wendt, president of Boating Writers International, a writer for Lakeland Boating and a marine industry marketing consultant
- Cochair Zuzana Prochazka, a freelance writer and photographer with contributions to more than a dozen sail and power boating magazines and online publications; she is a nine-year member of the board of Boating Writers International
- Roger Marshall, who has written 18 books (one a bestseller), and hundreds of magazine articles
- Roger McAfee, a regular contributor to publications that include Pacific Yachting, Sea Magazine, Lakeland Boating, Southern Boating and ShowBoats International
- John Page Williams, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Mike Vatalaro, executive editor of BoatU.S. Magazine
- Gary Reich, previous editor at PropTalk Magazine and the managing editor of Waterway Guide.
"BWI has put together an exceptional panel of technical marine experts, and the judges are excited to review the new products and unique solutions that always rise to the surface at IBEX," Wendt said.
Hall of Fame baseball catcher Johnny Bench will present a motivational speech on the value of success at the industry breakfast. Dammrich will present a state-of-the-industry address.
The NMMA Hall of Fame Award, the Boat US Life Jacket Design Competition Winner, the Boating Industry Movers & Shakers Award, the Mel Barr Award, presented by the National Marine Representatives Association, and the NMMA CSI Awards also will be given at the breakfast.