A fitness company, an invasive species researcher and a young entrepreneur focused on energy conservation are among the recipients of the seventh annual Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Region (SSMARt) Awards handed out July 10.
“The talent continues to exceed any expectations,” Tom Vair, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre executive director, said in a news release. “The nominees were outstanding and the judges had tough decisions.”
Catalyst Fitness was recognized as Innovation Company of the Year for its Ignite! program, which combines physical activity with educational lessons to enhance learning amongst its clients. The program has been found especially beneficial in helping people with rehabilitation and behavioural challenges.
The Innovation Project of the Year award went to Sault Area Hospital for the development of a web-based program used in hand-cleansing audits. The online version replaced an earlier, paper version of the process.
Dr. Pedro Antunes of Algoma University was named Innovation Researcher of the Year for his work on invasive species. Antunes was cited for his work in growing his department, leading 20 workers and volunteers, his innovative research and his efforts to engage the community in his work.
The Innovation Educator of the Year award went to Dr. Brandon Schamp, also of Algoma University, for his use of YouTube videos, collaborative experimentation and community engagement in education.
The Innovation in Web and Social Media award went to Sault College for using digital and electronic means to interact with students, which has helped to increase enrolment and engage students.
Ben Oliver and Michael Kendall share the Innovation Student/Graduate of the Year award. Oliver, a recent engineering graduate of McMaster University, has won accolades for his work in harnessing waste heat, while Kendall, an Algoma University biology student, is doing high-level research in the area of natural systems.
The Innovation Youth of the Year award was presented to Andrew Ault of Korah Collegiate, who started his own company at 16, selling a product that monitors and improves the power usage in one’s own home.