Dermot Roddy is a man with a clear vision of the future of the Tees Valley - a future where the area is recognised as a major centre for the development of the renewable energy and recycling industries " covering everything from the use of hydrogen fuel cells to the responsible disposal of electrical goods and plastics.
Dr Roddy, who has a strong record in the local chemical industry, is Chief Executive of Renew Tees Valley, a company established by Redcar and Cleveland Council, with backing from the area's other local authorities, the regional development agency One NorthEast, the Tees Valley Partnership and many other agencies, to take advantage of opportunities in the rapidly expanding renewable energy and recycling fields.
Already Renew Tees Valley is involved in a wide range of leading edge developments and Dermot Roddy predicts that there will be some 'very exciting' projects launched in the area in the very near future - including pioneering work in the use of hydrogen and biofuel technology.
Born in Northern Ireland and educated at Queen's University, Belfast, he has been involved in the chemicals industry for the past 17 years, much of that time on Teesside - including working as site director for the Petroplus refinery at Seal Sands. Recently he has been involved as a consultant on the Tees Valley Hydrogen Project.
Based at the South Tees Business Centre, Renew Tees Valley will have a small team of staff providing technical and business support and Dermot Roddy stresses that their main aim will be to help encourage the setting up of as many new businesses - and the creation of as many new jobs - as possible.
He explains: "It might come as something of a surprise that already in the Tees Valley we have around 180 companies involved in the environmental sector, employing almost 5,000 people and with an annual turnover of more than pounds 200m. …