The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) honoured individuals, businesses and institutions at the third annual Science, Technology, Innovation and Collaboration (STIC) Awards, which was celebrated in Saskatoon on November 22 at the Capitol Club.
“Over the past number of years, the Saskatoon Region has made a name for itself as a hub for science, technology and innovation, and I cannot think of an event more reflective of that than the STIC Awards,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “These Awards help showcase the innovative spirit of the Saskatoon Region’s entrepreneurs and educational institutions, which help position us as a global competitor in science and technology.”
The 2018 STIC Winners are:
PRODUCT AWARD – Draganfly Innovations
Draganfly Innovations is a multi-rotor drone company. While initial commercial sales and support was for law enforcement, aerial imagery is now being used to benefit industries such as mining, forestry, construction, survey and mapping, education, research and agriculture. Different camera sensors has allowed for the digitization of a crime scene, job site, the health of a farmer’s field – enables the end-user to non-invasively collect and analyze data.
PROJECT AWARD – A Vaccine to Protect African Cattle from “Lung Plague”
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan
In sub-Saharan Africa, Mycoplasma mycoides causes a disease called contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), referred to in Africa as lung plague. Control of CBPP is challenging and costly – antibiotics to treat the disease are limited and the disease spreads by nomadic cattle movements and the approved vaccine had major side effects. It cost approximately $US60 million annually. The Canadian government funded the development of a new vaccine for CBPP by an international team from Canada and Kenya led by VIDO-InterVac. The team was able to identify 66 new vaccine antigens for testing – four demonstrated protective ability and were selected for the new vaccine, which is cost effective to produce, heat stable and safer than the current vaccine on the market.
TEAM AWARD – SaskTech
Representing over 40 technology companies and affiliated organizations, SaskTech works to improve the number of highly-trained software developers, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, and statisticians available in Saskatchewan by working with government, education partners, and affiliated organizations to improve existing programs, develop new ones, and increase the public awareness of the opportunities available for workers in the tech industry.
U30 AWARD – Courtney Koroluk
Courtney Koroluk used her spare time to work on a research project, which compared four types of recombinant laccase enzymes from different organisms expressed in E. coli, which was an extension of earlier research that demonstrated that this enzyme had the potential to remediate water pollution, namely break down textile dyes. Courtney’s innovative research establishes a low-cost option aimed at assisting manufacturers with treating their industrial waste. It is hoped that this expertise and research can spark interest from an industry partner to explore scalability and grow additional applications.
STIC AMBASSADOR AWARD – Colleen Christensen
Colleen has had an extensive impact on science, technology and innovation over the past 20 years. Colleen is an entrepreneurial scientist, who has participated in the start-up of three companies, served on a number of local, provincial and national boards in a variety of industries, developed three transformation projects, and raised more than $24 million in infrastructure and research projects. Colleen is often called on to be a judge, a speaker and a mentor, tirelessly giving her time to countless tech challenges, competitions, conferences and meetings – something she gives all in an effort to help others. Perhaps what is most impressive about Colleen, is her willingness and desire to help others do better and be better. This is a fitting recognition for an individual who has given so much to our community.
The finalists and winners were chosen by the STIC Selection Committee. This committee consists of local industry, government and academia stakeholders.