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20th KIRA Awards Honour Private Sector and Public Sector Innovators

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FREDERICTON – The 20th annual KIRA (The Knowledge and Innovation Recognition Awards) gala took place Thursday night in Fredericton with a diverse group of companies, government departments and organizations honoured in several categories.

SomaDetect Inc. was named Most Innovative Start-up. The Fredericton-based company has developed an in-line sensor that measures critical indicators of dairy-quality from every cow at every milking. This allows farmers to find out if there are any issues or deficiencies with the milk early on, which could indicate that a cow is sick.

Blue Roof Distillers won the award for Most Innovative Product or Service. Blue Roof Distillers is a small micro-distillery built on the sixth-generation Strang family farm in Malden. The distillery sources its raw materials from the farm and transforms the ingredients into Blue Roof Handcrafted Spirits.

The provincial Treasury Board won the Premier’s Award for Innovation and BioNB was named Innovative Champion.

Family Medicine New Brunswick won the KIRA People’s Choice Award, which is selected on the night of the KIRA gala.

The KIRA Planning Committee Members (19982018) were given a special honour Thursday night –  the 20th Anniversary Honorary KIRA Award.

Largely driven by a volunteer organizing committee for the last 20 years, the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) will now become the new host and organizer of the KIRA Awards.

“We are so honored to be inheriting the KIRA awards,” said NBIF President and CEO Calvin Milbury in a release. “The volunteer committee has done tremendous work building the esteemed KIRA brand to-date. The awards fit perfectly into our values and mission to further innovation in this province. We will continue to honor and celebrate the awards and are excited for what’s to come!”

Lori MacMullin, co-chair of the volunteer organizing committee, said the KIRA awards are in good hands with NBIF.

“It has been a wonderful 20 years celebrating innovation in NB and we are excited to see what’s next for the KIRAs” said MacMullin. “Given the NBIF’s dedicated focus on supporting innovation in New Brunswick, the KIRAs could not have found a better home to continue to develop as the celebratory event for innovation in NB.”

RELATED: KIRA Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation in N.B.