Government of Canada presents awards to three young S&T innovators



    GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Networks of Centres of Excellence
(NCE) today recognized three outstanding young Canadian researchers for
turning knowledge into innovation and commercial success. Dr. Jean-Philippe
Côté (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems), Dr. James
Ford (ArcticNet) and Dr. Michel Poulin (Canadian Institute for Photonics
Innovation), were announced today as recipients of the 2007 NCE Young
Innovator Awards.
    "The Speech from the Throne clearly outlined our government's commitment
to research excellence and innovation, which is defined in our Science and
Technology Strategy," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Secretary of State
(Small Business and Tourism), on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice,
Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Networks of Centres of
Excellence. "Today's winners are among the brightest talents in their
respective fields. They are leading the way toward a more prosperous,
innovative, globally competitive Canada, and they offer a shining example to
young people considering a career in science and technology."
    "These three brilliant young scientists are a credit to the NCE program,"
said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of
the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, who presented the
awards today at a ceremony during the NCE annual meeting in Gatineau, Quebec.
"They show how the NCEs are fulfilling the promise of Canada's Science and
Technology Strategy. Our networks help train the finest minds, and then allow
them to take their exciting new ideas out of the lab and into the real world,
where they can benefit all Canadians."

    Each year, the NCE Young Innovator Awards honour outstanding young
science entrepreneurs who, with the help of their networks, have been
exceptionally successful in transferring their research to a business, process
or service to benefit society. Winners are selected by a panel of judges based
on the excellence and leadership of the nominee, excellence of the research
and quality of results, socioeconomic impact, and challenges encountered.

    More details on the 2007 winners can be found in the attached
backgrounder and on the NCE website (www.nce.gc.ca).

    Winners of the 2007 NCE Young Innovator Awards:

    Dr. Michel Poulin's research will allow astronomers to probe the origins
of the Universe. Dr. Poulin was among the very first students to have his
research sponsored by the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (CIPI)
NCE. After graduation, he worked for TeraXion, a company that later acquired
the CIPI spin-off company, DiCOS Technology. Dr. Poulin is helping to develop
a critical component of the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array)
telescope project in Chile. This huge international collaboration is
installing 66 antennae in the high Andean desert. Once construction is
complete in 2012, scientists will be able to observe distant galaxies and
study the birth of stars and planets. Dr. Poulin has a Ph.D. in electrical
engineering from Université Laval.

    Early in his career, Dr. James Ford recognized the importance of
collaborating with indigenous communities During his research work with the
ArcticNet NCE, he combined physical science with traditional Inuit knowledge.
This has enabled him to more accurately predict climate vulnerability in
Nunavut and across the Arctic. In 2006, Dr. Ford co-founded ArcticNorth
Consulting. His company works with public, private and not-for-profit
organizations for climate change program development. Clients include Northern
Climate Exchange and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada's national Inuit
organization. Dr. Ford is a postdoctoral fellow of the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada in the Department of Geography at McGill
University. He has Ph.D. from Guelph University and a M.Sc. from Oxford.

    Dr. Jean-Philippe Côté has transformed collaborative research with
industrial partners into a commercially viable company with some very big
clients. While a student researcher with the Mathematics of Information
Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) NCE, Dr. Côté developed a
sophisticated mathematical model to help companies optimize their revenues.
Growing industry interest prompted Dr. Côté to commercialize his project. He
founded ExPretio Technologies; now his former research partners are his
customers. ExPretio has worked with Air Canada, Bell Canada Enterprises, the
International Air Transport Association and the Société nationale des chemins
de fer français. Dr. Côté has a Ph.D. in operations research from Université
de Montréal.




For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, (613) 995-9001; Natasha
Gauthier, NCE Communications Manager, (613) 996-0390,
natasha.gauthier@nce.gc.ca


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