Winners & Selection committee


The Governor General’s Innovation Awards are given to individuals, teams and/or organizations whose innovations are truly exceptional, transformative, and positive in their impact on quality of life in Canada.

Robert Burrell

Robert Burrell
Edmonton, Alberta

Nominated by: Universities Canada

Biography | Dr. Robert E. Burrell is currently a Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Biomaterials, the Sorensen Chair in the Commercialization of Biomedical Technology, and a professor and chair of biomedical engineering in the faculties of engineering and medicine & dentistry at the University of Alberta. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the use of advanced metallic films for therapeutic applications. He is a prolific inventor with over 300 patents and patent applications worldwide, including Acticoat dressings, the world’s first commercial therapeutic application of nanotechnology. He has received many awards recognizing his work on nanostructured materials in medicine.

Robert Burrell’s Acticoat, the world’s first therapeutic medical application of nanotechnology, is the first burn dressing to simultaneously kill bacteria and decrease inflammation. This revolutionized approach to wound care increases healing rates, reduces the need for skin grafts and cuts down on long-term scar management issues. With his innovation, Dr. Burrell has saved thousands of lives and limbs around the world.