The Governor General's Innovation Awards are an annual celebration of innovations that exemplify excellence and help improve the quality of life in Canada and around the world.

The Assessment Committee is comprised of distinguished individuals chosen for their expertise in and breadth of understanding of the innovation ecosystem.

  • 2019 Assessment Committee

    Fred Morley

    Chief Economist of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency (on assignment from the Nova Scotia’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness)

    Fred is an economic growth specialist. He was Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of the Greater Halifax Partnership and has held senior positions with the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia Business Inc., Nova Scotia Economic Development, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, and was an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s University. Fred is currently an advisor to Tourism Nova Scotia with the position of Chief Economist. His teams have won more than two dozen national and international awards in the economic development and marketing fields. He is the founder of the Connector Program, a Halifax based immigrant integration approach which has been replicated in more than 35 cities in 5 countries. In July of 2010, Fred was asked by the White House and the International Economic Development Council to participate in and co-lead an economic needs assessment of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Fred was on the inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Awards Assessment Committee in 2016, a committee which he continues to chair. Fred was one of eight members of the Selection Board of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) which awarded $1.25 billion to 20 Canadian universities in 2015 and 2016. He was a council member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in Ottawa, a board member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Washington DC and Chair of Business Retention and Expansion International. Fred was the first Canadian to receive Business Retention and Expansion International’s “Distinguished Service Award” in 2008 and in 2015, was awarded Fellow Member (FM) status by the International Economic Development Council. He was the second Canadian to receive this designation.

    David Brown

    Co-founder and COO, Chinova Bioworks and Founder, Mycodev Group

    David Brown is a biotechnology entrepreneur and a passionate advocate for youth entrepreneurship in Canada’s biotechnology sector. Mr. Brown serves as the co-founder and COO of Chinova Bioworks and is the founder of Mycodev Group. In 2013, he and his team from the University of Alberta won MIT’s iGEM competition and Mr. Brown then founded Mycodev Group, a biotechnology company that produces life-saving pharmaceutical ingredients. Today Chinova Bioworks is a leader in the development of natural antimicrobial ingredients for foods and cosmetics, having formed partnerships with Royal DSM and is the first sustainability focussed company to be part of Sephora’s Accelerate program. He has patented several innovations and won awards such as the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2017 and the University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award in 2018.

    Dr. Breanne Everett

    CEO, President & Co-founder of Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.

    Dr. Breanne Everett is the CEO, President & Co-Founder of Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. (“Orpyx®”), as well as a medical doctor and resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Calgary. Seeing the burden that diabetic foot complications pose on both patients and the healthcare system, and with the goal of addressing these issues, she founded Orpyx to create meaningful, life-changing impacts with medical-grade wearable technologies. Orpyx has developed a proprietary, pressure sensor platform designed to empower patients to optimize the medical care of certain conditions, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Beyond these immediate applications in diabetic foot monitoring and amputation prevention, the platform technology that Orpyx has developed can be leveraged to multiple applications in pressure sore prevention, athletic performance optimization, and injury prevention. Dr. Everett was one of six national winners awarded with the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2016. She was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012, and the University of Calgary’s Graduate of the Last Decade in 2014. She is a Loran National Scholar, who serves as an active member of the Loran Alumni Community, and is a member of the scientific review board of the Pedorthic Research Association of Canada and the Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation Council. Her pride and joy is her family, and when not working, she loves spending time with her two small sons.

    Dr. Kamran Khan

    Founder & CEO of BlueDot

    Dr. Kamran Khan is an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and a Professor with the Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Motivated by his experiences as a frontline healthcare worker during the 2003 Toronto SARS outbreak, Dr. Khan has been studying outbreaks over the past 15 years to lay the scientific foundation for a global early warning system for infectious diseases. To translate and disseminate scientific knowledge into timely action, Dr. Khan founded BlueDot, a digital health company that builds data-driven technologies to help governments protect their citizens, hospitals protect their staff and patients, and businesses protect their employees and customers from dangerous infectious diseases. His research during public health emergencies such as the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak and the 2016 Zika epidemic have led him into numerous advisory roles from the White House to the World Health Organization. Over the past year Dr. Khan received a number of accolades for his work transcending clinical medicine, public health, big data, and artificial intelligence, including the Governor General’s Innovation Award, the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, a Techvibes Canadian Innovation Award, and the University of Toronto’s President’s Impact Award.

    Dr. Robert Luke

    VP Research & Innovation at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD)

    Robert Luke, PhD, is Vice-President, Research & Innovation, and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University. His expertise is in human-centered knowledge media design, working at the intersections of education and information science to produce useful and useable technology to support education, health and innovation systems. At OCAD University Dr. Luke is responsible for the strategic leadership, implementation and expansion of the university’s research and research-creation capacity, and the development of academic business, innovation and incubation initiatives. Dr. Luke served on the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel Review of The State of Science and Technology and the State of Industrial Research & Development in Canada, 2016-18. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canadian education and innovation.

    Audra Renyi

    Executive Director, World Wide Hearing

    Audra Renyi is the executive director of the non-profit World Wide Hearing and the founder of earAccess, a for-profit social enterprise. She has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street dealing with private equity firms. Ms. Renyi has also worked with Doctors Without Borders, in Chad; in Rwanda she served as the CFO of the One Acre Fund; in Kenya she worked as a business consultant in microfinance and as director of development at Canada World Youth in Montreal. Ms. Renyi holds bachelor’s degrees in economics (Wharton School) and international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed an executive leadership program at Harvard Business School. She is a winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Innovation Award, was named a Heroine of Health at the World Health Assembly, was chosen Wharton Top 40 under 40, recognized as the Young International Leader of Quebec by ARISTA, and designated a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum in France.

    Gena Rotstein

    Principale et cofondatrice de Karma & Cents

    Karma & Cents™ was founded by Gena Rotstein and Richard Ouellette. They each bring a unique perspective to the social enterprise philanthropy industry. Gena grew up in a family business and part of a larger enterprising family. She has over 20 years of philanthropy management experience with a Masters in Non-Profit Management and Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University and as a certified Family Enterprise Advisor through the University of Alberta. She also has received certification from 2164 in Next Gen philanthropy, is a member of the Purposeful Planning Institute and part of Canada’s Pro-Bono Marketplace.

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