First Winners of Governor General’s Innovation Awards
OTTAWA—The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of the Governor General’s
Ottawa, ON – April 26, 2022 – Today the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) announced the recipients of the seventh annual Governor General’s Innovation Awards (GGIA). These awards recognize and celebrate exceptional and transformational Canadian innovations, which create a positive impact in Canada and inspire the next generation of innovators.
(Mr. Robert Niven, Ms. Jennifer Wagner, Dr. George (Sean) Monkman, Dr. Dean Forgeron)
CarbonCure receives a Governor General’s Innovation Award for their work as a global leader in CO2 removal technologies – an essential climate solution for companies and countries to meet their Net Zero targets. Captured CO2 is incorporated into the normal concrete production process, whereby it is permanently mineralized within the material to yield improved sustainability, material performance and economic benefits. Under the leadership of Chair and CEO, Robert Niven, CarbonCure has developed and deployed carbon removal technologies in hundreds of concrete plants worldwide.
Nominated by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
(Dr. Pieter R. Cullis, Dr. Michael J. Hope, Dr. Thomas D. Madden)
The team of Pieter Cullis, Michael Hope and Thomas Madden have worked together for approximately 40 years. They are receiving a Governor General’s Innovation Award for their work in developing lipid nanoparticle (LNP) systems to deliver cancer drugs to tumours and to enable RNA and DNA based drugs to be used therapeutically. Among other achievements their work has resulted in the LNP systems that enable the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
Nominated by Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(Mr. Martin Basiri, Mr. Meti Basiri, Mr. Massi Basiri)
As the sons of two educators, brothers Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri have made it their life’s mission to improve global access to education, and in just six years the brothers have grown their company into the world’s largest online international student recruitment platform, helping more than 300,000 students. Leveraging artificial intelligence, ApplyBoard’s technology helps students around the world access the best education by matching them to programs and institutions that fit their unique background and interests. The ApplyBoard team is receiving the Governor General’s Innovation Award for improving global access to education; helping to foster internationalization, strengthening the diversity of student populations, and lowering longstanding barriers to traditional education by increasing visa approval and program acceptance rates.
Nominated by Canada’s Tech Network
(Ms. Tessa Lochhead, Ms. Leah Kippomee, Ms. Jeeteeta Merkosak, Ms. Karen Nutarak)
Based in Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet, NU), Pirurvik Preschool is receiving a Governor General’s Innovation Award for their transformational early childhood education (ECE) initiative that blends Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Ways) and Inungnuinniq (traditional Inuit child-rearing) with Montessori methods. The model allows children to learn at their own pace, providing them with a positive, evidence-based first experience with education that is culturally relevant, while also supporting language revitalization with the active use of Inuktut in the ECE environment. Their model is being successfully supported in other communities across Nunavut and is being recognized across the circumpolar world.
Nominated by the Arctic Inspiration Prize
(Mr. Jean-Simon Venne, Mr. Sean Neely, Mr. Sam Ramadori – BrainBox AI Team)
Jean-Simon Venne saw a need to improve energy usage in commercial buildings. Under his leadership and vision, the team at BrainBox AI is being recognized for their use of artificial intelligence technology to optimize HVAC systems in real-time, reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint, while also enhancing air quality. BrainBox AI is impacting buildings in developed and developing nations in over five continents, offering a scalable and impactful tool to address the equity, accessibility, and affordability challenges the world faces in its fight against climate change.
Nominated by the Association for the Development of Research and Innovation of Quebec (ADRIQ)
(Dr. Susan Scollie, Dr. Richard Seewald, Mr. Steve Beaulac, Dr. Sheila Moodie, Dr. Marlene Bagatto, Mr. Leonard Cornelisse, and Mr. Shane Moodie)
Led by Dr. Susan Scollie, the team of researchers at National Centre for Audiology at Western University are receiving a Governor General’s Innovation Award for developing the world’s first pediatric hearing aid prescription software. Desired Sensation Level (DSL) software has helped clinicians worldwide provide infants and children with access to sound by helping clinicians assess, treat, and properly fit and tune hearing aids to patient’s specific needs; improving hearing outcomes, while improving long-term educational and social potential for patients born with permanent childhood hearing loss.
Nominated by Universities Canada
The GGIA Selection and Assessment Committees are composed of distinguished individuals chosen for their expertise in and breadth of understanding of the Canadian innovation ecosystem.
2022 GGIA Selection Committee:
2022 GGIA Assessment Committee:
A virtual event celebrating the 2022 GGIA Laureates will take place on May 19th, 2022 during Canadian Innovation Week (May 16th to 20th).
Stay tuned for more on how to watch the ceremony.
For media inquiries, contact:
Rideau Hall Foundation
Launched in 2016, the Governor General’s Innovation Awards inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative, entrepreneurial risk-takers who have developed new or better ways of creating value and who are having a meaningful impact on our quality of life.
The Awards are given to individuals, teams and/or organizations whose innovations are:
Each year, up to six award winners are identified through a two-stage, merit-based selection process. For more information on the awards visit innovation.gg.ca.
The Rideau Hall Foundation is an independent and non-political charitable organization established to mobilize ideas, people, and resources across the country to tap into our national spirit and help realize our shared aspirations. The RHF works closely with many partners, including the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, to connect, honour, and inspire Canadians across four key programmatic areas, including:
The RHF manages all aspects of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.
Learn more about the RHF at www.rhf-frh.ca and follow us on Twitter @RideauHallFdn.