Health and wellness is the theme of third $100,000 Yukon Innovation Prize

Whitehorse – Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) of the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) and Government of Yukon’s department of Economic Development have launched the third annual Yukon Innovation Prize (YIP). 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, Director, Cold Climate Innovation, Yukon Research Centre. “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 YIP would include medical devices, remote healthcare, 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.

“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 Minister of Economic Development 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 in order to extend the growing season in the North.

The contest runs from Monday, February 13th to midnight on Sunday, March 12th. It is open to any Yukon-based resident or organization. The four finalists will be selected by March 31st.

Interested parties can attend an information session on Thursday, February 23rd, at noon in the North Boardroom at the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College. 

While the YIP focuses on a thematic area each year, CCI welcomes innovative ideas year-round.

There are seven key programs that operate under YRC at Yukon College: 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.