Kathie-Lee Pugsley runs Focused Interiors, among nominees in the 2017 Surrey Innovation Awards. (file photo)

Surrey Innovation Awards nominees named ahead of Sept. 28 event in Guildford

Winners to be celebrated at luncheon hosted by Surrey Board of Trade

SURREY — Nominees for the 2017 Surrey Innovation Awards have been announced by Surrey Board of Trade, host of the awards event on Sept. 28.

Award winners in two categories will be named at the luncheon, held at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

The awards are presented to Surrey Board of Trade members or Surrey-based businesses/organizations or youth who have “developed a new or improved technology, service, process or product by using creative methods and innovative thinking that has the potential to transform an industry sector or quality of life.”

Nominees in the Excellence in Innovation category this year are ARKTOS Developments Ltd., Foreseeson Technology Inc., SFU Innovates Strategy and UNITI.

In the Young Innovator category, nominees are 4Systems, BlueHive Technologies, Focused Interiors and Tree Power Technologies.

Posted below are descriptions of each award nominee, as submitted by Surrey Board of Trade.

Excellence in Innovation nominees:

UNITI: “Semiahmoo House Society, Peninsula Estates Housing Society, and The Semiahmoo Foundation worked closely together to complete the Chorus Affordable and Inclusive Housing project and will be working together on future housing projects. When the three organizations work together, their partnership is called UNITI. To meet the demand for much needed rental housing in South Surrey, UNITI initiated Chorus, an inclusive and affordable 71 – unit development complex. At present, people with developmental disabilities rent 20 of the 71 apartments that were reserved for them, while tenants from the general population occupy the other 51 units. UNITI will become more recognizable to the community over the next year as they launch projects that feature the three organizations working together.”

ARKTOS Developments Ltd: “ARKTOS Developments Ltd. is a well-established Canadian owned company that designs and manufactures the unique amphibious ARKTOS Craft at its facility in Surrey, B.C., and is active in both domestic and international markets. ARKTOS Craft were initially developed for use in the Arctic environment as a lifeboat “that can go in ice” due to planned increased exploration activities by the Oil Industry. With the financial support and technical assistance of the Canadian Government and the North American Oil Companies, the first ARKTOS Craft prototype was built and tested in the Canadian Arctic in 1986. Today, the two existing models of ARKTOS Craft have been used for various applications including by the oil & gas sector as an evacuation system for offshore platforms, for seismic survey work in the Bohai Delta, China and Alaska, USA; and for ice management/logistical duties in the Alberta Oil Sands.”

Foreseeson: “Founded in 2001, Foreseeson is a technology company with four primary divisions: Electronic manufacturing services, IT distribution, digital signage, and secure portable storage solutions. After recognizing that USB memory devices are susceptible to data being leaked or stolen, Foreseeson set out to develop technology to prevent this from happening. They have developed USB Copy Protection Technology that prevents USB stored data from being removed in any way. With this protection, data is unable to be printed, emailed, copied, screen captured, or any other method of unwanted distribution. Foreseeson has also developed the Physical Hidden USB, which is a USB that can contain multiple hidden USBs within it, preventing potential data thieves from finding the data contained.”

SFU Innovates: “SFU Innovates is a university-wide strategy that builds on Simon Fraser University’s dynamic culture and seeks to strengthen its commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. Lead by SFU’s VP Research and International Dr. Joy Johnson, SFU Innovates has led to a dramatic shift within SFU to ensure that students and researchers receive strong and purposeful organizational support to mobilize both their ideas and the products they produce for positive economic and social impact. SFU Innovates has a very strong presence at the SFU Surrey campus where entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary and strong community partnerships are all deeply woven into the fabric of the campus. From supporting youth entrepreneurship with the SBOT and POWERPLAY, to the development of new products through their Venture Connection Program, to co-facilitating the City of Surrey’s Social Innovation Summit, the Surrey campus has been a leader in the operationalization of the SFU Innovates agenda.”

Young Innovator nominees:

Tree Power Technologies: “Tree Power Technologies has created the Tree Electric Generator (TEG), which is a scalable, aesthetic, tree-like hybrid stand-alone power system that will offer the public free and clean energy that can be used for various low power applications while outdoors. Tree Electric Generators (TEG) combine both solar cell and wind turbine technology to provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity, irrespective of weather conditions. Tree Electric Generators provide green energy to power low power devices and streetlights. When installed in remote areas, such as campsites, trails, farms, and beaches, Wi-Fi capable TEGs keep users connected and offer reliable lighting. In addition, its touch screen displays allow users to interact with the system to provide them with helping services such as maps and emergency calls.”

Focused Interiors: “Focused Interiors creates a visual studio generating photorealistic images of properties within the real estate market. These images enable property buyers and property owners to see the potential of real estate regardless of its current state. Focused Interiors combines the old ‘proven’ methods of real estate marketing with today’s state-of-the-art graphics and computer technology to present properties in fresh innovative ways. Up until now, realtors have not been able to take an existing space and reimagine it for potential buyers. With most sellers being incapable of executing the transformations they need to market their home, realtors are left with few options to market and sell these undesirable properties. Focused Interiors addresses this issue by developing interior design solutions for these properties and presents these ideas using photorealistic images and interactive 360 panorama tours. In other words, envisioning what’s possible.”

BlueHive Technologies: “BlueHive Technologies has created the PowerHive, which is an installation-free battery for home use. With this battery, customers can automatically charge their battery when energy is economical, and use it when it is expensive, to reduce energy bills. An adapter allows users to charge their battery from an outlet and connect appliances they wish to power through the same adapter. Automatic backup power is also supplied during power outages to the appliances that are connected. Most popular home energy storage devices currently require that the batteries be installed into the home through the electrical panel. This means that customers without permission to modify their electrical panels (like renters, or homeowners in strata housing, etc.) cannot use most energy storage devices to help reduce their electrical bills. The PowerHive is a solution for those people.”

4Systems: “4Systems aims to address the need for safer and more secure cycling in modern cities. They have invented Hopite, a customizable, modular bike seat that provides safety and security to meet a wide range of customer needs. Features include an anti-theft system, blinkers, power generation (USB charging) and blind-spot detection. Smart bicycles are becoming a major trend within the bicycle industry. Hopite aims to give customers an alternative to purchasing a smart bicycle, which may cost thousands of dollars. The Hopite provides customers the highest quality of safety and security features found in a smart bicycle, but at an affordable price.”

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