Mitacs partner receives the Governor General’s Innovation Award

Calgary, AB  Mitacs partner Dr. Breanne Everett, CEO and co-founder of Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc., was named a recipient of the inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Awards. The goal of the Innovation Awards is to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and recognize entrepreneurs who have developed new or better ways of creating value for Canadians.

Mitacs — a national not-for-profit organization that provides funding for research — and the University of Calgary have partnered with Orpyx on several healthcare projects related to the development and commercialization of the SurroSense Rx, a pressure-sensitive insole that relays information to a wristwatch, notifying the user when damage is being done to their feet. This sensor allows users to modify their behaviour and avoid complications related to diabetes.

For people with diabetes, complications such as lack of circulation, numbness, infection, and ulcers caused by diabetic neuropathy (nerve dysfunction) are often devastating and costly. Roughly 8 percent of North Americans will develop diabetes, and over 50 percent of those will develop neuropathy over the course of their disease. Dr. Everett is being recognized for her innovative work in the medical technology community.                                       

The Governor General’s Innovation Awards are given to individuals, teams, and/or organizations whose innovations are exceptional and transformative, and have a positive impact on quality of life in Canada. Winners will be honoured for their achievements at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on May 19, 2016.


Dr. Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs offers our warmest congratulations to Dr. Everett. We are very proud of her innovative and important work in healthcare. It’s an honour for our research interns to have had opportunities to collaborate with Dr. Everett and the Orpyx team — and to make a difference in improving the lives of millions of people with diabetes.”

Dr. Breanne Everett, CEO and co-founder, Orpyx

“I am incredibly honoured to be named an inaugural recipient of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.  Mitacs and the local investment community have been instrumental in helping Orpyx move from outside-the-box idea to inside-the-box solution. This award is an acknowledgement of an entire ecosystem of which I am truly privileged to be a part of.”

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary

“Innovation is one of the core values of the University of Calgary, and we applaud Dr. Everett as one of the first honourees of the Governor General Innovation Awards. Mitacs has been an incredible partner to the University of Calgary, allowing us the freedom to pursue research with significant impacts. Innovation on our campuses is fueled by collaborations with like-minded organizations such as Mitacs.” 

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization led by Canadian universities that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 16 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • Mitacs’ Accelerate program connects graduate students with industry partners for research internships supervised by faculty.
  • Open to all disciplines and all industry sectors, projects can span a wide range of areas, including manufacturing, business processes, IT, social sciences, design, and more.