The KIRA's Are Coming

  • Laurie
  • 2017-07-19




Gleaner Column

Chapter 6 – The KIRA's Are Coming and Celebrating Business in Innovation!

Building on our last two columns…Ignite Fredericton, economic development catalyst agency, has partnered with the federal and provincial governments to deliver three days of innovation-focused content during New Brunswick Innovation Week from May 3 to 5. As key innovation partner, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is funding these Fredericton-based events to target youth, academia/research and business.  

We have a stellar lineup of international and local speakers, and the best part is the programming is FREE with the exception of the KIRA Awards.  Don't miss this opportunity to network with industry peers; learn about innovative best practices and initiatives; and help us celebrate New Brunswick's finest in all sectors!

Thursday, May 5th starts with an innovation snapshot – showcasing major provincial projects.  Sponsored by BlueSpurs, Camil Samah from Amazon Web Services World-wide will then talk about how the cloud is changing the face of business by enabling organizations to save money while increasing productivity and agility to innovate.

Futurist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author Leonard Brody of Clarity Digital will then deliver the keynote address about the ‘The Great Rewrite’.  He will speak about how we are living in a time of massive disruption, when revolutionary change is occurring at a frenzied pace. He says change, unlike before, is now happening from the ground-up with savvy entrepreneurs dictating everything from new technology, currency, banking practices to the ‘internet of things’.  This disruption has left organizations on shaky ground, struggling to engage consumers and employees alike to stay relevant. Those who adapt to this rapid change, allow themselves to be ‘re-written’ for modern day survival and prosperity. 

Following keynotes, there will be a networking lunch to showcase the 18 KIRA finalists.  This is intended to provide the business community with an opportunity to meet the finalists and learn more about their game-changing products and services.  Did I mention all of this is FREE?!

The evening of May 5th, New Brunswick will celebrate its finest at the 18th annual KIRA - hosted by Knowledge Park. You can still book tickets at

This year’s KIRA Awards are stepping away from the traditional seated dinner to feature a high energy networking stand up dinner reception with food stations, world champion flair bartenders, interactive and musical entertainment by the new KIRA house band.  Guests can expect a Grammy Awards style experience complete with our first ever KIRA People’s Choice Award.

The KIRAs also now recognize outstanding achievement and innovation in ALL sectors, not just ICT.  Congratulations to the three finalists in the following six categories:

Industry Champion - Recognizing the efforts of an individual, company, or group toward changing the landscape of its industry in our province by raising awareness. This can be promoting the industry itself or its positive impact on communities and the province overall: direct community engagement, promoting the industry as a community partner or supporting community development. 

The finalists are:
Dr. Ali Ghorbani
Dr. Dhirendra Shukla
Keith McIntosh

Most Promising Start-Up - From a great idea to thinking outside the box, in technical or managerial terms, this award recognizes a company in business less than two years with something fresh to say in the marketplace or a new approach to addressing an old problem. Innovations impacting any industry positively are eligible to be nominated. 

The finalists are:
Eigen Innovations
ProcedureFlow: Gemba Software Solutions
SimpTek Technologies

Innovative New Product or Service (Private Sector) - Recognizing a successful launch of an innovative product or service by a private sector company over the past 12 months. Products or services could still be at the development stage however there must be some measure of success either identified or established. Companies investing in research and development of new technologies and innovations are also eligible in this category. Innovations impacting any industry are eligible to be nominated.

The finalists are:
Resson Aerospace
ThermalWood Canada

Economic Impact through Employment Growth - Recognizing a company or organization that has demonstrated sustained employment growth in New Brunswick which has resulted from market/product/service/revenue growth over time. In this specific case, the time period in question is the preceding two years. 

The finalists are:
Groupe Savoie
The Learning Bar

Premier’s Innovation Award (Public Sector) - Recognizing the adoption of an innovative new solution or approach for the delivery of a new or existing service over the past 12 months that has resulted in measurable cost reductions for government services. Public institutions including government departments, municipalities, universities and community colleges are eligible to apply. The innovation may also have been achieved through a partnership between the public and private or academic sectors.

The finalists are:
Cities of Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, Service NB, Dept of Public Safety, Ambulance NB
Horizon Health Network – Telestroke
New Brunswick Cancer Network – Dr. Eshwar Kumar

Premier’s Innovation Award (Private Sector) - Recognizing the adoption of an innovative new solution or approach for the delivery of a new or existing service over the past 12 months that has resulted in measurable cost reductions for government services. Private organizations delivering services or solutions to the government of New Brunswick also qualify for submissions. The innovation may also have been achieved through a partnership between the public and private or academic sectors. 

The finalists are:
Malley Industries
Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN)

The business community is also invited to Research Day on May 4th.,12:00-5:00pm at the Wu Conference Centre.  Learn about leading-edge research and commercialization taking place at the post-secondary school level in Fredericton.  From labs to start-ups, join researchers, young entrepreneurs and students to see how they’re leading innovation in New Brunswick!

On May 3rd, high school students from Fredericton High, Leo Hayes and Oromocto will descend upon the Fredericton Convention Centre for an event designed to inspire youth towards a culture of innovation. It will feature innovation pioneers/thought leaders (Marcel LeBrun, David Alston, Karina LeBlanc, Greg Hemmings and Steve Foster), young entrepreneurs (Kayley Reed and Michael Go) and keynote speaker Jennifer Corriero, Co-founder of TakingIT Global and expert on the net generation, innovation and youth.

You can register for events here

There will be a series of other events occurring around the province during Innovation Week. For additional programming, please visit the provincial website

Economic Development & Marketing Specialist
Ignite Fredericton | Knowledge Park | Planet Hatch