Yukon Innovation Prize

Cold Climate Innovation in partnership with the Yukon Government, Department of Economic Development host an annual Yukon Innovation Prize to encourage the local development and delivery of innovative products and services. The goal is to increase the locally-provided value in goods and services sold in Yukon and in the broader northern markets, enhancing wealth in the territory and providing additional employment opportunities. Each year a new topic is chosen that is related to Cold Climate Innovation's mandate. These topics focus on areas related to Food Security, Cold Climate Housing and Alternative Energy.

Contest Details


  • The contest is open to both individual entrants and organizations
  • Individuals must be residents of Yukon
  • Organizations must have a valid Yukon business license and a permanent business office in Yukon
  • An individual or organization can submit more than one entry, but each individual or organization will be eligible for only one prize
  • Individuals or organizations who are part of an entry (e.g. with another individual or organization) may not submit an entry separately - put another way for clarity, an individual or organization can only submit entries under a single name or group
  • One prize will be reserved for an entry by an individual or organization located in Yukon, but outside of Whitehorse. Should there not be a feasible entry from the communities, as determined by the judging panel, the prize may be awarded to a Whitehorse-based entry.

Prizes:  Up to four plans will be chosen from the eligible submissions. These finalists will be given $10,000 to further develop their ideas and provide more evidence of their technical and business value. The refined plans will be evaluated, and a single winner may be given up to $60,000 towards bringing the innovation to commercialization.

Contest timing: The contest usually runs from January to June each year.

Submission Process

  •  Entries are to be submitted on-line to innovation@yukoncollege.yk.ca.
  •  Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges against the criteria outlined. They should include both technical and business information that will meet those criteria as completely as possible.
  •  A template has been put together for you to use as a framework for your response, but while recommended, it is not mandatory to use it.  There is a pdf and word version of the template.


The criteria are broken down into two major categories:  feasibility (both technical and business feasibility); and Yukon benefit (will it generate jobs, new businesses, and/or economic/environmental benefits for the territory).


• Technical:

  • How complete is the design or plan for the innovation?
  • Do the skills and materials exist in Yukon to support the implementation of the innovation?
  • What is the technical benefit of the proposal and how significant might it be both economically and environmentally?

• Business:

  • Is there a market/demand for the innovation?
  • How broad is the market locally, and is there export potential?
  • Can it be implemented profitably?
  • Can it be commercialized?

Yukon Benefit

Wealth generation

  •  Will the innovation generate an increase in value of local industries?


  •  Will the innovation result in an increase in employment for Yukon residents?
  •  Will the innovation result in a new business?

Breadth of benefit

  •  Are there benefits for communities?
  •  What is the potential for export, if any?

Past Winners

2016 Finalists:

  1. Maxime Dugre-Sasseville (Thermodynamic Greenhouse): Grand Prize Winner - Proposed a controlled thermodynamic greenhouse that will regulate temperature in order to extend the growing season in the North.
  2. Bob Mellett (Aquaponics System): Proposed a design and a working model for an aquaponics system that manages the growth of both plants and fish.
  3. Sharon Katz (Plant Sourced Ink): Investigated a Yukon native plant as a non-toxic ink source that could reduce packaging in the food industry and create a lucrative crop for Yukon.
  4. Alexandre Poitras (Organic Feed Source): Proposed the concept of using ducks in a hydroponic system to grow duckweed as an organic feed source.

2015 Finalists:

  1. Adam Greetham (Efficient Radon Mitigation): Grand Prize Winner - Developed a radon mitigation system that may increase the safety and efficiency of the radon mitigation industry. This system can be used in new and existing buildings and is based upon a pressurization sensor system.
  2. Chris Barstch (Concrete Floor Cutter): Developed a tool for cutting decorative lines in concrete floors. The line cutting tool is extremely accurate, creates no dust, and is easy to operate
  3. Kirk Potter (Insulated Header): Developed an engineered insulated header for windows and doors that will minimize heat loss. Window and door headers are a weak link in energy efficiency for buildings and this product aims to address this. Additionally, this project will also develop framing material for all aspects of the building sector, both new and retrofitting construction.
  4. Terry Rufiange-Holway (Retro Door): Developed an insulated door panel intended to increase the energy rating of a typical exterior door and add to the overall building performance. The Retro Door consists of a very high insulating material encased in a thin structural panel which is fastened to an existing entry door.

If you have any questions or concerns please email us at innovation@yukoncollege.yk.ca. The team at Cold Climate Innovation is here to answer any of your questions.