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SSMARt Innovation Awards





The 12th annual SSMARt Innovation Awards hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at Grand Gardens Downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The luncheon event honours companies and influential individuals for their innovative contributions to the science and technology sectors of the Algoma District, and for their use of science and technology in innovative ways, making a positive economic, cultural, or social impact on the community.

Tickets are $25 each and available for purchase in person at Scotiabank locations in Sault Ste. Marie (Station Mall OR Northern Ave.) Scotiabank will generously support the SSMARt Awards by matching dollar for dollar every ticket sale from one of their branches. Tickets are also available online, click here.

Email awards@ssmic.com with any questions you may have.



Innovation Company of the Year 

This award acknowledges a company’s leadership through the innovation of its science and/or technology products, services or research, the sustained growth of its assets and its dedication to community involvement. Science and/or technology and/or agriculture should be the primary focus of this emerging or expanding company.

Innovation in Digital Media

This award acknowledges the individuals/organizations responsible for developing effective use of digital media such as website, digital design or social media for marketing campaigns and/or ongoing promotion. This award category is open to both organizations and web design/media companies/agencies.

*Agencies must submit a single campaign per entry; however, multiple entries may be submitted.

Steve Butland Innovation Educator of the Year 

This award acknowledges a teacher or professor, who has made a substantial contribution to the science and/or technology sector through education, volunteering or sheer passion.  Contributions may be through use of innovative teaching methods in the classroom (i.e. engaging students with digital and advanced web methods such as podcasts, blogs, social media etc.); leadership in the area of science and/or technology, community involvement, leadership, entrepreneurship and volunteerism.

Innovation Leader of the Year 

This award acknowledges a leader, manager or executive whose leadership and/or creative use of science or technology (including digital media, social media, online networking tools etc.), or innovative thinking has helped to advance their organization, improve client/customer services and positively impact the local community, ideally science and technology. 

Innovation Project of the Year 

his award acknowledges an organization or business whose science and/or technology and/or agriculture project demonstrates leadership, innovation and/or creative use of science and/or technology. This award is designed for organizations or businesses that are not necessarily science and/or technology companies, but are using technology and/or science as an enabler to better serve their operation and/or clients.
An ideal project would include benefits such as the advancement of the organization or business, improvement of client/customer services and positive impact on the science and/or technology and/or agriculture community or the community at large. The project must have demonstrated tangible success/return to the organization or business. Pilot projects are acceptable nominations.

Innovation in Social Entrepreneurship

This award acknowledges an individual, organization or collective who has demonstrated leadership and innovation that has had a significant social, cultural or environmental impact in their community. The social innovator of the year will have used science and/or technology and/or agriculture (which may include software, digital applications, equipment, products, social media etc.) as a catalyst for positive change. This can be in the form of entrepreneurship and/or community initiatives and covers both non-profit and for-profit sectors.

Social entrepreneurship is defined as the use of the techniques by start up companies and other entrepreneurs or innovators to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.

Innovation Startup of the Year – NEW CATEGORY

This award acknowledges a startup company’s leadership through the innovation and development of science and/or technology and/or agriculture products, services or research; its dedication to community involvement; and potential for growth and positive impact on the community. The company must be in the 'idea' or 'discovery' stage, generate a revenue lower than $100,000, developed an innovation in the Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) or Agriculture sector, benefited the community with its product/service, and be located in the Algoma region. 

Innovation Youth of the Year 

This award acknowledges an individual age 13 to 29, who has made a substantial contribution to the science and/or technology and/or agriculture sector through education, volunteering or sheer passion. Contributions may be through outstanding academic achievement; leadership in the area of science and/or technology and/or agriculture; community involvement; entrepreneurship; and/or volunteerism. It may also include the commercialization of new technology; development of innovative processes and products; diversity of research.

All nominations will be reviewed to ensure:

  • Nominees are accurately represented – in the work they do, commitment to the community and mandatory application questions are answered.
  • Nominees meet requirements/qualifications in the application to be considered for judging.
  • There is no conflict of interest with professional or business practices that would deem them not suitable for an innovation award.
  • Nominees are not currently employed by SSMIC, or have been within the past five years.
    • Excluding co-op students and volunteers. They will remain eligible to help encourage and foster science and tech career development and respect the co-op as a learning opportunity.
    • Incubator clients are permitted – they are not employed by SSMIC
  • Nominees are not currently a SSMIC board member, or have been within the past five years.




Meet our 2016 SSMARt Innovation Award Winners

Eight “Innovation of the Year” awards were awarded at the ceremony. Click here to view a video of our winners.

Innovation Company of the Year – STUFFF Lubricants Inc.

Founded by Bill and Vikoria Betournay of St. Joseph’s Island, STUFFF Lubricants Inc. manufactures non-toxic, environmentally-friendly lubricants and penetrants that are biodegradable, renewable and made from 100% recycled canola oil feedstock.  Since launching in 2014, STUFFF has been progressively growing – even securing a partnership with Home Hardware Canada, and is currently leading the bio-based lubricant market by offering products with applications that are suitable for the environment. Learn more at www.stufff.ca and www.facebook.com/stufff.ca

Steve Butland Innovation Educator of the Year – Micaela Mansfield

Micaela Mansfield is an innovative educator who encourages the use of technology in her classroom to enhance her students’ learning and capabilities. Micaela has incorporated a ‘flipped classroom’ method of teaching, using Google Apps for Education, plus a variety of other applications.  In partnership with a colleague, Micaela has helped create an app, called iCanProgress, that supports authentic assessment, documentation of student progress and visible student learning in the classroom with customizable rubrics and checklists, and it links directly back to the Ontario curriculum. 

Micaela has recently accepted the position of Curriculum Coordinator for Kindergarten to Grade 6 for the Huron Superior Catholic District School Board.

Innovation Project of the Year – Innovative Teachers Inc. for iCanProgress app

This project was created in Sault Ste. Marie by teachers, for teachers. Innovative Teachers Inc. aimed to strengthen communication between teachers, students and parents regarding student progress through the development of an app, called iCanProgress. This project is committed to transforming assessment practices in Ontario Elementary Education (K-8), focusing on providing educators with an intuitive platform that combines learning goals, success criteria, and descriptive feedback with parental engagement.  iCanProgress was officially launched in September of this year and currently has over 1,300 students at over 15 schools across Ontario. 

Innovation Researcher of the Year – Dr. Isabel Molina, Associate Professor with the Biology Department at Algoma University

Dr. Isabel Molina’s innovative research will impact industries ranging from forestry to biomaterials and biofuels, with much experience and expertise in the field of plant biology. Her passion is evidenced by her contributions in working with other researchers studying the genes responsible for making and maintaining the fatty acids and waxes plants use to assemble their cuticles. Helping plants – especially crops – to better withstand drought and high temperatures is increasingly important in an era of climate change.

Dr. Molina has recently been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) for a collaborative research project with The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Oklahoma, titled “A class II KNOX gene, KONX4, controls see physical dormancy.

Innovation in Social Entrepreneurship – Entomica

Entomica inspires learning in Sault Ste. Marie for both locals and tourists to the region by providing the community with an opportunity to experience and interact with spectacular insects from all over the world – acting as a catalyst for social engagement and education.  Entomica is the only insectarium, zoo, natural history museum, and science centre in Canada that not only allows, but also invites each and every visitor to hold the different insects in an effort to inhibit fear and teach people that insects are a natural and critical part of our world and environment. 

Entomica recently won two prestigious science awards in the same year from the Canadian Association of Science Centres, including Best Program for a Small Institution, and one for the Making a Difference in Canada Award.

Innovation Student/Graduate of the Year – Conner Flood

Conner Flood, an Algoma University graduate currently working on his Masters of Mathematics (Computer Science) from the University of Waterloo, has been working on many innovative projects, including an induction proof generator that has been launched on the Wolfram|Alpha website as a free tool for students. Conner is now focusing on completing his thesis, which involves designing and implementing a web application for Mathbrush – a pen recognition application, which is used for recognizing mathematical expressions as you draw them. 

Conner has also been involved with an application that assists users with completing kitchen-related tasks using syndetic assistance processes.  As well as conducting research on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) that allow people with locked-in syndrome to communicate without moving a muscle and implementing various networking solutions including a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).  

Innovation in Web and Social Media – Invasive Species Centre for their Asian Carp Campaign

Through the deployment of the Asian Carp Campaign, the Invasive Species Centre developed invaluable digital and social media tools -- a website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, and a seven-part Webinar series – informing people of the dangers of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes www.asiancarp.ca , www.facebook.com/asiancarpca and www.twitter.com/asiancarpca. This science-based, multi-platform campaign has met the informational needs of audiences by targeting students, youths, professionals, members of Indigenous communities, academia, and naturalists in the Great Lakes Region.  The campaign has developed easy-to-use products and materials that are appropriate for multiple audiences and circumstances.

Innovation Youth of the Year – Michelle Delorme

Michelle is a grade 11 student at St. Mary’s College who has a passion for botany and community outreach and engagement.  Under the supervision of her science teacher, Mrs. O’Donnell, Michelle has taken the initiative to create and maintain a vegetable garden at St. Mary’s College.  Michelle strategically planned and planted different produce amoung 10 raised garden beds.  The harvested produce was weekly donated to St. Vincent de Paul or the Soup Kitchen.  Michelle also maintains exceptional grades, while volunteering and working at other organizations in the community. She is a Duke of Edinburgh award recipient, competitive swimmer and Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club Coach.




Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre