Ottawa, ON – April 18, 2023 – Today the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the eighth annual Governor General’s Innovation Awards (GGIA). These awards recognize and celebrate exceptional and transformational Canadian innovations, which are creating a positive impact in Canada and beyond, while also inspiring the next generation of innovators.
The recipients of the 2023 Governor General’s Innovation Awards are:
Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ)
(The CPIJ Team)
Led by Professor Fannie Lafontaine, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) is a pan-Canadian partnership that brings together a team of 25 researchers and practitioners from 12 organizations to strengthen access to justice for victims of international crimes. Contributing to the defence of human rights and the construction of a just and inclusive society, CPIJ’s collective and inclusive approach has changed the way research is done by establishing a cross-sectoral collaboration between universities, legal clinics, NGOs and international organizations.
Nominated by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
DalPhos Catalysts for Next-Generation Pharmaceutical Synthesis
(Dr. Mark Stradiotto)
Professor Mark Stradiotto is a world-leader in the field of metal catalysis for assembling organic molecules, including the active pharmaceutical ingredients in medicines. His game-changing research has resulted in the development of the commercialized “DalPhos” (DALhousie PHOSphine) catalysts, which have addressed important conceptual and practical challenges in the preparation of pharmaceuticals, and offer high performance and practicality, while encompassing considerations of sustainability.
Nominated by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Earth X-Ray for Low-Impact Mining
Through new implementation and integration methods, Ideon Technologies will allow mining companies to identify density and magnetic anomalies with greater resolution and clarity down to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface, much like x-rays and MRIs give us visibility inside the human body. Their Subsurface Intelligence Platform will help target and characterize deposits with greater precision, supporting an environmentally responsible mineral supply needed to fuel the transition to clean energy.
Nominated by Digital Supercluster
Innovations in Flow Chemistry: The Solution to Producing COVID-19 Test Kits
(Dr. Michael Organ)
Dr. Michael Organ and his team have made outstanding, pioneering contributions to fundamental knowledge in flowed chemical synthesis. Dr. Organ is the mastermind behind the invention of a flow reactor that safely manufactures a key molecule used to prepare the PCR test kit for COVID-19. The reactor, designed and built in his lab, produces tens of kilograms of the target molecule monthly. Dr. Organ’s technology has contributed to COVID-19 tests performed around the world.
Nominated by Universities Canada
MerPAS: Mercury Passive Air Sampler
(Dr. David McLagan, Dr. Carl Mitchell, Dr. Frank Wania)
MerPAS is an innovative sampler for monitoring mercury pollution in the air. It runs without the need for electricity or gas, using controlled diffusion of air and a carbon material to capture mercury from the atmosphere. Designed, developed and tested by a research team comprised of David McLagan, Carl Mitchell and Frank Wania, the sampler has been commercialized and is being used in monitoring networks in Canada and world-wide, pointing the way to healthier air quality and a reduction of global mercury emissions.
Nominated by Universities Canada
(Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF))
In 2020, the Canadian Women’s Foundation launched the Signal for Help to help abuse survivors in the pandemic’s spike of gendered violence. The hand gesture innovation is simple – tuck the thumb into the palm and cover the thumb with fingers to ask for help without leaving a digital trace. Used in over 45 countries and shared virally around the world, it has saved lives and continues to be used. In Canada, 41% of people know about the signal and 9% have used it or seen it used. To support the use of the signal, the CWF developed Signal for Help Responder digital learning tools, as research shows that many people do not have the confidence and knowledge to offer abuse survivors non-judgemental support.
Nominated by Community Foundations of Canada
2023 GGIA Selection and Assessment Committees
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.
2023 GGIA Selection Committee:
2023 GGIA Assessment Committee:
The 2023 GGIA ceremony will be live-streamed on Thursday, May 18th, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET during Canadian Innovation Week #CIW (May 15th to 19th).
For media inquiries, contact:
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Rideau Hall Foundation
About the Governor General’s Innovation Awards
Launched in 2016, the Governor General’s Innovation Awards inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative trailblazers 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.
About the Rideau Hall Foundation
The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is a registered national charity that brings together ideas, people and resources to celebrate what is best about Canada while working with partners to meaningfully improve lives and foster the conditions for more Canadians to succeed and thrive. The RHF manages all aspects of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.
Learn more about the RHF at www.rhf-frh.ca.