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Premier's Catalyst Awards Celebrate Ontario's Top Talent

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Premier's Catalyst Awards Celebrate Ontario's Top Talent

The Premier's Catalyst Awards help build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ontario by recognizing commercially successful, innovative products or services developed with breakthrough technologies.

Awards of $200,000 each are presented to companies that have championed a new, or significantly improved, product or service based on a breakthrough technology. Innovations must be commercially successful and have the potential for positive impact on Ontario's economy, society and sustainable development.

One award of $200,000 was given in each of the following categories:

  • Best Young Innovator
  • Innovator of the Year
  • Start-up Company with the Best Innovation
  • Company with the Best Innovation

The Premier's Innovation Awards recognize and reward Ontario's top researchers and innovators that are successfully turning global challenges into better healthcare, a cleaner environment and Ontario's next generation of jobs.


Best Young Innovator

Mr. Cameron Piron
Sentinelle Medical Inc.
Toronto, Ontario
Cameron Piron is the president and co-founder of Sentinelle Medical Inc., an Ontario-based company involved in the research and manufacturing of leading edge magnetic resonance imaging ─ also known as MRI ─ technologies.  His innovative leadership in developing and commercializing the Sentinelle Vanguard System has changed the delivery of breast healthcare in North America, and is establishing Ontario as a key location for diagnostic imaging research and development. Sentinelle Medical Inc. has developed a breast magnetic resonance auxiliary table that creates a dedicated system for breast imaging and intervention that enables more patients to be scanned in a single day. This improves the ability of physicians to quickly and accurately diagnose breast cancer and other conditions. Its unique technology provides superb image quality. For patients here in Ontario and around the world, the possibility of scanning, disease detection and treatment all in one visit is a major step toward reducing patient wait times and providing better health outcomes. 

Innovator of the Year

Mr. Steve Hengsperger
Tersano (Canada) Inc.
St. Catharines, Ontario

Steve Hengsperger is president of Tersano, a St. Catharines company that markets a unique home sanitizing system that eliminates the use of harmful chemicals. The Lotus Sanitizing System uses a patented Oxyshield process that super-charges ordinary tap water with an extra oxygen atom, creating a powerful sanitizer that destroys bacteria, viruses and pathogens on food and surfaces. While the same technology has been in use in industrial settings such as hospitals and food processing plants for decades, Mr. Hengsperger's innovation was the successful adaptation of this system for the consumer market. The product is now widely sold in major retail outlets across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, and Time magazine named it one of the top inventions of 2006.

Start-up Company with the Best Innovation

RapidMind, Inc.
Waterloo, Ontario

Waterloo-based RapidMind, Inc. is a new high-tech company that has developed a technology that is rapidly becoming indispensable to software developers around the world. RapidMind's award-winning innovation is a computer programming platform that enables developers to take advantage of the astonishing capabilities of the next generation of multi-core microprocessor chips and graphics processing units. It allows them to do this while using familiar programming languages and tools - and to do it quickly and cost-effectively. RapidMind has the backing of industry heavyweights such as IBM, HP, Intel and AMD. This technology is used in Sony Playstation 3, QBase's business intelligence software, Dartmouth Medical College's cancer detection software, and Masstech's real time HD video encoding system. It is also used in automotive and aerospace tools from RTT AG in Germany.

Company with the Best Innovation

Evertz Microsystems Ltd.
Burlington, Ontario

Evertz Microsystems, a Burlington-based company - and its innovative products - are well known to television broadcasters worldwide. In fact, Evertz's reputation for excellence in innovation, quality and reliability has made it a dominant player in broadcasting technology.  Evertz's cutting-edge MVP® technology is the next generation in multi-image display processor technology.  This technology is ideal for all applications where video and audio monitoring and display are required such as in the control room of television studios. The MVP® platform allows broadcast engineers to monitor signal quality, audio integrity and loss of video or closed captioning with a simple and intuitive control interface. It is revolutionary because it doesn't use a personal computing platform, protecting it from the risks associated with computer breakdowns.

Quick Facts

  • This year’s Premier’s Innovation Awards are made up of three prestigious awards programs – the Catalyst, Discovery and Summit Awards – that support and promote ideas and discoveries that build on Ontario’s innovation strengths.
  • Last year’s Catalyst Award recipients were Viewgenie, Slipstream, DALSA, Tessonics and RIM.
  • Ontario is supporting research talent development and since 2005, has funded 300 top researchers and innovators who have committed to train 975 highly qualified personnel. These researchers are also reaching out to a projected 82,500 youth through science-based activities.

Additional Resources


“The Premier’s Catalyst Awards provides a wonderful opportunity for pioneering companies to get recognition for their successes and help provide funding to further their innovation agenda.”

Linda Hasenfratz

CEO, Linamar Corporation

“The Premier's Catalyst Award has been a tremendous help for us, literally changing our profile overnight and enabling us to scale our operations to a world-class level. I cannot think of any other type of government support for entrepreneurs anywhere in the world that can match the Premier's Catalyst Award.”

Dr. Parham Arabi

President, Viewgenie Inc. Recipient of the Premier’s Catalyst Award for Best Young Innovator in 2007

“This Government understands the vital importance of research and development to Ontario’s economic and social prosperity. The Catalyst Awards are a marvellous method of supporting those innovators and entrepreneurs who are making the breakthroughs needed to keep Ontario at the forefront of the knowledge economy.”

David Johnston

President, University of Waterloo