Mitacs partner SmartICE receives Governor General’s Innovation Award

Ottawa, ON – Mitacs partner SmartICE has been named a 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award recipient for its climate change adaptation tools. The Awards are given to individuals, teams and/or organizations whose innovations are truly exceptional; transformative; and, positive in their impact on quality of life in Canada.

SmartICE is being recognized for their system that integrates traditional Inuit knowledge with advanced monitoring technology to provide insights into ice conditions and improve safety. Due to climate change, ice conditions have become less predictable in northern communities, affecting the ability to safely hunt and transport.

Memorial University graduate Tyler Spurrell, technical operations lead with SmartICE, was connected to the company through a Mitacs program, which supported organizations interested in hiring recent post-secondary graduates for jobs that address an environmental or climate change-related challenge.

SmartICE and Mitacs have recently partnered on a new project intended to advance the company’s research and development operations. SmartICE aims to expand opportunities for economic and social development in northern markets while helping to preserve local Inuit culture and lifestyle.

The goal of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards is to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and recognize entrepreneurs who have developed new or better ways of creating value for Canadians. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present the awards to the winners May 29 at Rideau Hall, Ottawa.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is delighted to congratulate SmartICE in this honour of receiving the 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award for its climate-change adaptation tools. SmartICE is an excellent example of how innovation is a driving force behind Canada’s prosperity, standard of living, and quality of life. We look forward to our ongoing partnership and connecting the company with the next generation of research talent.”

Carolann Harding, Executive Director, SmartICE Sea Ice Monitoring & Information Inc. 

“Partnering with Mitacs has been an integral part of our growth to date. Through Mitacs’s support we were able to grow our talent in engineering and further our R&D. Without our Mitacs connection we wouldn’t be where we are today. I recommend the Mitacs program and professional staff and thank them for their continued support.” 


Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada for business and academia. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • 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.
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, every province, industry and not-for-profit partners, and academic partners.