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$175,000 in prizes celebrate Canadian innovators


Calgary, AB – The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has announced the winners of its 2015 Innovation Awards and Young Canadian Innovator awards. The ten recipients will share $175,000 in prize money for successfully developing innovations that are improving the lives of Canadians and others worldwide.

“The Foundation is helping build a culture of innovation in Canada by recognizing Canadian innovators and rewarding them for the value they are adding to our provincial and national economies by creating jobs and wealth, and positioning our country as a global competitor. We consider them Canada’s most valuable resource,” said Jennifer Diakiw, the foundation’s president.

The foundation presents prizes annually to outstanding Canadian innovators. Manning Innovation Award winners are selected by a Canada-wide, independent selection committee, of established leaders and authorities from various disciplines. The Young Canadian Innovator Award winners were selected by a team of judges at the 2015 Canada-Wide Science Fair in May. All the winners were honoured at the foundation’s 34th Innovation Awards Gala in Saskatoon on October 2, 2015.

This year’s Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award winners are:

– Dr. Mark Torchia and Richard Tyc, P.Eng, of Winnipeg, MB $100,000 Principal Award for developing and successfully commercializing the NeuroBlate, a unique medical laser device that is helping surgeons to successfully treat patients with brain lesions previously considered inoperable.

– Matthew Sheridan, of Hamilton, ON, $25,000 David E. Mitchell Award of Distinction, for developing and successfully commercializing the Nix Color Sensor, a handheld device to accurately measure the colour of any object instantly, making colour management easier and more cost-effective for textiles, cosmetics, commercial paints, graphic design and other industries.

– Dr. Vito Forte, of Toronto, ON, $10,000 Manning Innovation Award for developing and successfully commercializing the OtoSim, a simulated silicone ear teaching tool that is helping medical students worldwide learn how to more accurately diagnose ear conditions before they practice on patients.

– Fabrizio Chiacchia and Iwain Lam, of Calgary, AB, $10,000 Manning Innovation Award for developing and successfully commercializing the CleanPatch, an adhesive material to repair tears in hospital beds, preventing the spread of infection while saving healthcare facilities money to replace damaged equipment.

The 2015 Young Canadian Innovator Award winners are:

– Dan Alferov, 18, of London, ON, $7,500 for developing an image-based test for determining how the brain reads facial expressions to help health professionals diagnose mood disorders and other mental illnesses, especially in young people.

– Sandrine Bayard, 17, of Quebec City, QC, $7,500 for developing a bandage bacteria monitor – or “thinking bandage” – that can detect infection in chronic wounds without being removed.

– Gayashan Tennakoon, 18, of Ottawa, ON, $7,500 for developing a simple, cost-effective way to test drinking water by “drying” it on-site to detect trace elements that cause kidney disease and other health problems, especially in remote populations.

– Samna Aziz, 17, of Hamilton, ON, $7,500 for developing a non-toxic, biodegradable bone cement that has potential to replace the current generation of cements used to repair bone fractures.