THUNDER BAY -- Entrepreneurs from in and around the region were recognized for putting their innovative ideas forward Thursday.
The ninth annual RBC innovation awards were held at the Victoria Inn, with 150 people in attendance.
“These are the wealth-creators in our communities. They’re not just recycling jobs, they are bringing money into our community,” said Judy Sander, a manager at the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre.
“Talent is going to be the winner of tomorrow. The communities that keep and attract talent… without it you don’t have a growing, thriving community.”
The ceremony was the culmination in a process where local businesses and their employees are nominated for six different awards.
Bradley Momberg and Kyle Rodrigues were selected as the recipients of the young innovators award for their work with Redox North.
Momberg is the CEO for Redox North, and was rewarded for his work using graphene supercapacitors for energy storage.
“Graphene is a single-layer form of carbon… It’s about 200 times stronger than the strongest form of steel, it’s thermally and electrically conductive, it’s got a lot of interesting properties.”
Redox North is attempting to apply graphene as an energy storage for mobile battery banks, large-scale grid storage, and autonomous vehicles.
After the two accepted their award, Sander capped off their speech by saying, “Those guys are way smarter than I am.”
“I believe that if someone took the time to nominate, and understand why the [business] is innovative, they are all winners,” Sander said.
Nevertheless, Momberg was humbled by the honour.
“I look around the room and see the most successful people in Thunder Bay… to be associated with them is fantastic and it gives us an opportunity to grow even further.”