Innovation Awards

Winners of the 2018 Innovation of the Year Award
From left: Hannah McIver, CEO of MicroSintesis; Mansel Griffiths, chief scientific officer of MicroSintensis and professor emeritus (Food Science); Maira Medellin-Peña, joint recipient of award; Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research). Griffiths and Medellin-Peña won the award in 2018.

The Innovation of the Year Awards were developed to recognize and celebrate University of Guelph innovations that have made, or have the potential to make, significant socioeconomic impacts to Canada and beyond.

Since it was initiated in 2016, four innovations representing work conducted by researchers in six different university departments have been recognized. These innovations continue to have a positive influence in diverse areas including animal health, food packaging, environment and human wellness.

Past Winners:


  • Dr. Mansel Griffiths was selected for his work, along with co-recipient Dr. Maira Medellin-Peña, pioneering the use of probiotics to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria, enhancing the health and welfare of livestock.


  • Dr. John Dutcher was selected for his work with nanoparticles of phytoglycogen, which which are non-toxic, biodegradable and water-soluble. The PhytoSpherix technology is now being marketed by the Guelph-based company Mirexus with 18 full-time employees.
  • Dr. Bonnie Mallard was chosen for her breakthrough High Immune Response (HIR) technology, which allows farmers to raise healthier animals that require less treatment and antibiotic use.


  • Dr. Mario Monteiro and his team created a carbohydrate-based vaccine that targets the surface polysaccharides exposed by C. difficile.
  • Dr. Amar Mohanty and his team at the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) worked to create a 100 per cent-compostable resin that can be used by industry to make many items more sustainable, including single-serve soft pods for coffee and other hot beverages.