Event Coverage

2020 Governor General’s Innovation Awards laureates

November 20, 2020

Congratulations to our outstanding Governor General’s Innovation Awards Laureates.


Watch as the 2020 GGIA Laureates describe winning a Governor General’s Innovation Award:


The recipients of the 2020 Governor General’s Innovation Awards are: 


 AccessNow App (Ms. Maayan Ziv – young innovator) 

  •  Ms. Ziv is the founder of AccessNow, a mobile app designed to empower people living with disabilities to live more independently. AccessNow connects people with ratings, insight and information on the accessibility features and status of businesses and experiences in over 30 countries. This innovation, fuelled by a crowdsourced model, engages a global community to contribute to a more inclusive and accessible world. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan channeled her frustration on the lack of accessibility information into motivation and making a difference. Her inspiration was personal; her impact is huge. 
  •  Nominated by Ingenium.  

CHIME: A Revolutionary New Canadian Telescope  

  • We have entered what scientists call the CHIME Epoch referring to a project called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, designed to measure the expansion history of our universe and to map the cosmic distribution of fast radio bursts within it and to track radio pulsars.  Conceived, funded, and built by Canadians, CHIME represents an innovative technological achievement as well as a major scientific undertaking that addresses some of the most profound questions facing contemporary astrophysics. 
  • Nominated by the National Research Council. 

Embers Staffing Solutions  

  • With a mission to help people rediscover hope and self-sufficiency through meaningful work opportunities, the social enterprise Embers Staffing Solutions (ESS) launched in 2008. For 11 years, ESS has provided temporary and transitional jobs to people facing multiple barriers through low-barrier employment opportunities, helping thousands of individuals transform their lives and, in turn improve the health and safety of the communities in which they reside. ESS is self-sustaining and invests 100% of its profits back into the community through higher hourly wages, equipment and training for workers. In 2018 alone, the organization employed 1,900 people and paid out over $6.5 million in wages and benefits.  
  • Nominated by Trico Charitable Foundation. 

New Frontiers in Lung Transplant Medicine (Dr. Shaf Keshavjee) 

  • The Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) System developed by Dr. Keshavjee addresses the shortage of donor lungs needed for life-saving lung transplantation. Transplant surgeons can now objectively assess donor lung function outside of the body for extended periods and then confidently decide whether to use a donor lung for transplant. Since the first clinical trial in 2008, EVLP has been adopted around the world, saving hundreds of lives of patients with end-stage lung disease.  
  • Nominated by the University Health Network. 

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Law (Dr. John Borrows) 

  • Through teaching, research, writing and numerous applied projects, Dr. John Borrows has helped transform Canada’s understanding of how Indigenous and non-Indigenous law can co-exist harmoniously. He co-created the world’s first dual Indigenous law program and guides communities in reviving Indigenous legal principles and processes to address today’s challenges. Innovation in law delivers empowerment, better health, economic progress, and renewed cultural vibrancy. Dr. Borrows is Anishinabe, a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation, and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria. 
  • Nominated by the McConnell Foundation. ​  

Sheertex (Ms. Katherine Homuth – young innovator) 

  • Ms. Homuth is the Founder and CEO of Sheertex, the company behind the world’s first unbreakable sheer knit. Made with the same type of fibers found in ballistic materials, the Sheertex knit can be used in a variety of high-performance products like the company’s flagship product, sheer pantyhose. Sheertex’s proprietary manufacturing process is bringing new manufacturing jobs to its headquarters in Montreal. 
  • Nominated by Startup Canada. 
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