The Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) of the Yukon Research Centre and territorial Department of Economic Development have launched the third annual Yukon Innovation Prize, Yukon College said last Friday.
Yukoners can win up to $70,000 for their innovative product or service relevant to health and wellness.
Innovators first compete for one of four $10,000 prizes which is then used to further develop their idea and provide evidence of its technical and economic viability.
The four finalists then submit their refined plans to compete for the grand prize of $60,000 in additional funding to bring their innovation towards commercialization.
“This prize supports local innovative ideas that will improve the lives of northerners,” said Stephen Mooney, the CCI director.
“Yukon thrives on the spirit of innovation, and by supporting this culture, we will continue to build a vibrant northern economy.”
Suitable projects for the 2017 prize would include medical devices, remote health care, assistive technology, and process innovations.
Applicants must address the technical and economic viability of their idea as well as the benefits it can bring to Yukon and its communities.
“(The) Government of Yukon is proud to support the Yukon Innovation Prize and to encourage the development of projects that contribute to the growth of Yukon’s innovation sector and northern innovation as a whole,” said Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai.
“I look forward to learning more about this year’s entries and projects that will be contributing to the future of Yukon’s economy.”
Last year’s grand prize winner was Maxime Dugre-Sasseville in the theme of food security.
Dugre-Sasseville proposed a controlled thermodynamic greenhouse that will regulate temperature to extend the growing season in the North.
The contest, which runs until midnight March 12, is open to any Yukon-based resident or organization. The four finalists will be selected by March 31.
Interested parties can attend an information session at noon Feb. 23 in the North Boardroom at the research centre at the college.
While the prize focuses on a thematic area each year, the CCI welcomes innovative ideas year-round.
There are seven key programs that operate under the research centre: Biodiversity Monitoring, Cold Climate Innovation, Northern Climate ExChange, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation, Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, and Technology Innovation.