Manning awards for innovation handed out in Saskatoon; 2 Manitobans win top prize

SASKATOON — Two Manitoba researchers have won $100,000 for developing a laser device  to allow surgeons to better treat patients with brain lesions.

The minimally invasive robotic laser that Dr. Mark Torchia and engineer Richard Tyc created is now used in more than 30 hospitals in Canada and the U.S.

Other winners of the Ernest C. Manning Awards are Matthew Sheridan, of Hamilton, Ont., for a handheld device that accurately measures the colour of any object instantly, making colour management easier and more cost-effective for textiles, cosmetics, commercial paints, graphic design and other industries.

Dr. Vito Forte, of Toronto won for a simulated silicone ear teaching tool that is helping medical students worldwide learn how to more accurately diagnose ear conditions before they practice on patients.

Fabrizio Chiacchia and Iwain Lam of Calgary commercialized an adhesive material to repair tears in hospital beds, preventing the spread of infection while saving health-care facilities money to replace damaged equipment.

Four young people were named 2015 Young Canadian Innovators by the foundation and received $7,500.

They are Dan Alferov, 18, of London, Ont., developed an image-based test for determining how the brain reads facial expressions to help health professionals diagnose mood disorders and other mental illnesses, especially in young people.

Sandrine Bayard, 17, of Quebec City created a bandage bacteria monitor that can detect infection in chronic wounds without being removed.

Gayashan Tennakoon, 18, of Ottawa came up with a simple, cost-effective way to test drinking water by “drying” it on-site to detect trace elements that cause kidney disease and other health problems, especially in remote populations.

Samna Aziz, 17, of Hamilton, Ont., developed a non-toxic, biodegradable bone cement that has potential to replace the current generation of cements used to repair bone fractures.

The foundation was established in 1980 by Alberta Energy Company CEO David Mitchell. Working with former Alberta premier Ernest C. Manning and others, he built the foundation to recognize and celebrate Canadian innovators of all ages and across all disciplines.

The Canadian Press