2017 Yukon Innovation Prize finalists chosen

WHITEHORSE—Four ideas from five Yukon innovators have been shortlisted for the 2017 Yukon Innovation Prize. The finalists will each receive $10,000 to further develop their idea and compete for the grand prize of $60,000.

  • Elise McCormick and Joanne Sherrard (Dawson City)
    Proposed using natural compounds found in raw birch sap to develop facial care products.
  • Allan Benjamin (Old Crow)
    Proposed creating a new snowshoe suitable for extreme cold racing based on traditional designs.
  • Sharon Katz (Whitehorse)
    Proposed creating a prognostic tool for clinicians to aid in the early detection of radon-induced lung cancer.
  • Lisa Kanary (Whitehorse)
    Proposed a way to deliver more personalized reporting and guidance to users of digital fitness trackers.

A selection committee comprised of health care professionals, CCI staff and representatives of innovation funders reviewed 23 proposals to select four ideas with high market and commercialization potential in health and wellness. Five submissions came from Yukon communities beyond Whitehorse and 56 per cent of submissions were from women.

In order to win the grand prize of $60,000, the four finalists will spend the next two months further developing their idea and must provide evidence of its technical and economic viability. The finalists then submit their refined plans to compete for the opportunity to further bring their innovative idea towards commercialization.

"We are beyond thrilled that Yukon College and Government of Yukon have given us this opportunity to further develop our vision of creating highly effective skincare from the rich botanical resources that surround us,” said finalists Elise McCormick and Joanne Sherrard of Dawson City.

The Yukon Innovation Prize was created in 2014 by Cold Climate Innovation at Yukon College and Government of Yukon’s Economic Development to invigorate and support Yukon innovators.

The grand prize winner will be announced at the end of June.

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.