Innovation Awards 2018



The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) announced a new awards program that recognizes outstanding innovations of benefit to the Saskatchewan minerals industry.  In our inaugural year, the Best Prototype Award was awarded for the first time on the evening of the 10th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum in April 2018 in Saskatoon.

International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII), on behalf of its member companies and Innovation Saskatchewan, announced Prairie Machine & Parts Mfg.'s (PMP) Hardrock Gopher prototype as the winner of IMII's inaugural Innovation Award.  The Gopher has been designed for tough mining conditions, with the objective of replacing diesel-powered vehicles with a safer, cleaner, more robust electric vehicle (

About the Award

PMP's Hardrock Gopher was selected from among several prototypes submitted by Saskatchewan supply chain companies as it offers a noteworthy value proposition to the minerals industry in both reducing GHG and other air emissions, and enhancing safety in underground operations.  It is currently under trial, and PMP is prepare to take commercial orders.

Selected from among technologies submitted by Saskatchewan companies, this award for the best prototype presents the most innovative emerging technology from the supply chain for the minerals industry in the province.

The winning prototype demonstrates that it solves a significant problem for the minerals industry, offers a noteworthy value proposition (e.g., an advantage over existing technologies in reducing GHG or air emissions, minimizing land disturbance, improving waste management practices, improving the energy efficiency of operations, reducing water use, enhancing safety), and will be commercially available to the industry this year.

The award winner will be considered for funding under IMII"s Operationalizing Innovations program, and may be a candidate for the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive if subsequently commercially developed in the province.

2018 Selection Process

All nominations underwent a merit-review selection process involving representatives of IMII's funding members (BHP, Cameco, K+S Potash, Mosaic and Nutrien) and Innovation Saskatchewan.

All entries were to meet the following criteria:

  • The clear intent of the entry is to build and bring to market an economically viable innovative technology that meets a demonstrated need of the Saskatchewan minerals industry
  • The participant bears solely the responsibility for the preparation of its entry
  • The participant must be intent on commercializing intellectual property that meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • It is an innovative product or service involving new technology;
    • It combines existing technologies in a way that results in new intellectual property;
    • It utilizes technologies to develop new or improve existing products or services;
    • It utilizes technologies to develop new or improve existing production processes; and/or
    • It is the early-stage development of a new technology (i.e., a prototype)
  • The participant must:
    • Be a supply chain company (not a professional service firm)' and
    • Have an interest in the promotion and growth of Saskatchewan's minerals industry supply chain.



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