Nine local inventors recognized by Alberta legislature

Alberta nominees for Canada's most prestigious innovation awards, the 2013 Ernest C. Manning Awards, were introduced to members of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton last week to help draw attention to the important role of technology entrepreneurs in the province.

The Alberta innovators are among 45 nominees from across Canada being considered for this country'€™s largest innovation prizes: the $100,000 Encana Principal Award, the $25,000 David E. Mitchell Award of Distinction and two $10,000 Innovation Awards.

Seven of the nominees are from southern Alberta. The Southern Alberta Chapter of the Manning Awards is chaired by Robin Winsor, a 2005 Manning Award recipient and President and CEO of Alberta'€™s not-for-profit advanced technology agency, Cybera.

"€œThe Alberta chapter is very proud to see the healthy climate of innovation in Alberta. We are seeing smart people building viable companies and getting a foothold in national and international markets. On top of that, the diversity of innovation that we saw among this year'€™s nominees is indeed impressive,"€ said Winsor.

From practically indestructible work gloves to patents in dentistry, the Albertans represent the vanguard of technological innovation in the province today. They include:

Carl Denis, Calgary, CDR Systems: Developed '€The Freedom Patient Immobilization System'€, used in targeted radiation therapy to enable accurate positioning of patients, to ensure destruction of the targeted tumor cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue and organs. 

Dr. Naser El-Sheimy, Calgary, Trusted Positioning: Invented '€œTrusted Positioning Platform'€, a technology that provides the ability to have seamless, autonomous, accurate and reliable navigation and positioning information for indoor navigation, as well as challenging dense urban outdoor navigation environments, for both consumer and enterprise markets. Application areas include emergency assistance, fleet management, person finding, asset tracking, collision avoidance, and automotive assistance.

Kevin Grumetza, Thorhild, Hack to Hack Solution: Developed '€œEasy Sheet Curling Rink Liner'€, a one-piece custom printed and custom made, reusable, recyclable curling sheet. The sheets came to life after Kevin volunteered for years at his local club spending needless time, energy and money painting ice the traditional way.

Camiel Huisma, Airdrie, GrowSafe Systems: Developed '€œGrowSafe Technology'€, a patented data acquisition platform that automatically measures biometric and environmental inputs in livestock production environments, individual animal health and performance. The technology is now being used by more than 55 major Agricultural Research Centers and premium seed stock centres worldwide.

Gregory Hunt, Calgary, PackJack Ventures: Developed '€œPackJack'€, the world'€™s most stable, simple, and truly portable motorcycle jack. PackJack'€™s light weight (9.5 ounces) solves the portability, storage, safety, and usability issues that accompany other motorcycle jacks.

Dr. Deepak Kaura and Rohit Joshi, Calgary, Brightsquid Dental: Created the BrightSquid Dental Link, a digital hub for dental data including dental prescriptions, digital X-rays, photos, patient details, digital impressions and CAD/CAM files. Collaboration and information exchange between dentists, specialists, dental labs and patients is simple, secure and private.

J. Scott Moore, Calgary, Precise TM: Developed '€œUTFx Precise Transcript Management'€™, a cross-jurisdictional enterprise transcript management utility designed to expedite the production of court transcripts (including both stenotype and DAR) in the jurisdiction'€™s prescribed format. For court administrators and private transcription service providers, UTFx provides a complete management solution for trial transcripts in both English and French. Web-based for ease of access, UTFx works with any audio recording system and any third-party transcription software, and it inherently accounts for the various ways court records are created.   

John Putters, Edmonton, Visionstate: Developed '€œWANDA Washroom Management'€, which is revolutionizing restroom maintenance by replacing the paper-based system with an all-in-one wall-mounted touch panel. With access to real-time information, the cleaning of public restrooms is improved significantly, reducing the potential for spread of germs and bacteria.

Randy Schmitz, Calgary, Schmitz Mittz: Built an extrication glove that is virtually indestructible. The gloves are made for firefighters, police, military applications, and anyone needing superior protection. Schmitz Mittz combine multiple high-strength materials that endure extended periods of use under harsh conditions, demonstrating extremely high levels of cut resistance, and superior crush protection to any glove on the market.

Winners of the 2013 Manning Awards will be announced in the fall at the 2013 awards gala in Calgary on October 16, 2013.


The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been recognizing and encouraging innovation in Canada since 1982, during which time it has received over 2,000 applications and has awarded $4.3 million in prizes. The awards to be handed out include: the EnCana $100,000 Principal Award; the David E. Mitchell $25,000 Award of Distinction; and two Innovation Awards of $10,000, each.

For more information, please visit the Manning Innovation Awards'€™ website.