Ottawa, ON – May 4, 2021 – Today the Rideau Hall Foundation announced the recipients of the sixth annual Governor General’s Innovation Awards. These awards recognize and celebrate exceptional Canadian individuals, teams and organizations for their excellence in innovation and their contributions to helping shape our future and positively impact our quality of life.
The recipients of the 2021 Governor General’s Innovation Awards are:
(Dr. Sheila Wang)
Dr. Sheila Wang receives the Governor General’s Innovation Award for her leadership in the creation of an artificial intelligence-driven technology for monitoring wound care patients remotely. The technology is being deployed by Swift Medical across North America to help thousands of wound care patients access immediate, virtual wound care while remaining in their own homes.
Nominated by Mitacs
(Dr. Jackie Dawson, Dr. Natalie Carter, Ms. Natasha Simonee, Ms. Shirley Tagalik)
The team led by Dr. Jackie Dawson and including Dr. Natalie Carter, Ms. Natasha Simonee, and Ms. Shirley Tagalik, receives a Governor General’s Innovation Award for their innovative integration of traditional Inuit knowledge and western science. Their work is leading to the creation of new routes for Arctic shipping that better protect culturally significant marine areas. The project supports national and international ocean policy and has made the region a global leader in self-determined science.
Nominated by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
(Dr. Xiaoyi Bao)
Dr. Xiaoyi Bao transformed the field of structural monitoring with her invention of Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS), an ultra-sensitive and precise optical fiber-based technology installed in civil structures, and capable of detecting dynamic stress and high and low frequency vibrations indicative of crack formation. Her technology, which has more applications, smaller size, better predictive capacity and cost point, showcases Canada as an innovative force for change on the world stage. Not only is Dr. Bao’s technology saving governments millions in maintenance, but most importantly, it is helping to protect the environment from oil spills and saving lives by ensuring the integrity of bridges, pipelines, railways and airplanes worldwide.
Nominated by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
(Dr. James Robar)
Dr. Robar is being recognized for integrating 3D printing into the treatment of skin, breast, head/neck and gynecological cancers. The software, now being deployed by Adaptiiv Medical Technologies Incorporated at leading cancer centres worldwide, enables the design of patient-specific radiotherapy accessories that improve treatment accuracy and patient experience.
Nominated by the Discovery Centre
(Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong, Dr. David Hammond, Dr. Mary E. Thompson)
With the persistent leadership of Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong, the ITC Project, centered at the University of Waterloo, is globally renowned for its innovative research supporting and defending effective tobacco control policies such as graphic health warnings, smoke free laws, advertising bans, and tobacco taxes. This pioneering research, across 29 countries covering over half of the world’s population, has led Canada and many other countries to strengthen their tobacco control efforts, improving the health of millions of people worldwide.
Nominated by Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(Chief Leroy Denny, Ms. Blaire Gould)
In contrast to dominant Eurocentric school systems and in the devastating aftermath of Indian Residential Schools, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, a collective of 12 Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia, has emerged as an education authority that is community-based and Mi’kmaq led. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey has achieved this through collaborative governance, effective planning, strategic influence and transformative Mi’kmaq teacher education. The result has been an enabling environment for Mi’kmaq culture, language, and identity to thrive, all while achieving educational outcomes which far exceed national averages for on-reserve and off-reserve education.
Nominated by the Forge Institute
2021 GGIA Selection and Assessment Committees
The Governor General’s Innovation Award Selection and Assessment Committees are composed of distinguished individuals chosen for their expertise in and breadth of understanding of the Canadian innovation ecosystem.
2021 GGIA Selection Committee:
2021 GGIA Assessment Committee:
A virtual event celebrating the 2021 GGIA Laureates will take place on May 20, 2021 during Canadian Innovation Week (May 17th to 21st).
To register for this virtual event follow this link.
For media inquiries, contact:
Jill Clark, Manager of Communications
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, 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.
About the Rideau Hall Foundation
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: (1) learning initiatives that strive for excellence and promote equality of opportunity; (2) strengthening Canada’s culture of innovation, (3) widening the circle of giving and volunteering; and (4) building and celebrating excellence in Canadian leadership, and increasing public awareness about and commitment to Canada’s multi-faceted democracy. The RHF manages all aspects of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.