Gold Leaf Awards


Celebrating the Best in Canadian Biotech

BIOTECanada’s Gold Leaf Awards recognize the remarkable individuals and companies  who have made significant contributions to the biotech industry in Canada. All nominees and winners are great examples of the core strengths of Canada’s biotech ecosystem.

The 2024 Gold Leaf Awards ceremony will be held in September in Ottawa.

View the 2023 highlights and winners here


2024 Gold Leaf Award Categories

  • Biotech Company Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Ecosystem Builder Award  
  • Promising Biotech Company of the Year Award 
  • Game-Changing Industry Leadership Award

Biotech Company Award

The “Biotech Company Award” celebrates a distinguished organization that has made significant contributions to the Canadian biotechnology sector. This award honours companies that have demonstrated exemplary performance and innovation in one or more of the following areas

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  • Technological Advancements: Success in developing and implementing groundbreaking biotechnological innovations that have the potential to transform the biotech industry.
  • Achievement of Business Milestones: Recognizing the company’s ability to reach business milestones that signify growth, market presence, and operational excellence within the biotech landscape.
  • Development of a Robust and Diverse Product Pipeline: The establishment of a solid and diversified pipeline that reflects the company’s commitment to addressing a wide array of healthcare needs, ensuring long-term sustainability, and impact in the biotech field.

This award underscores the recipient’s role as a pillar in the Canadian biotech community, showcasing their dedication to pushing the boundaries of science and business to foster innovation, drive industry progress, and contribute to the advancement of biotechnology in Canada.


Leadership Award

The “Leadership Award,” is designed to honour the visionary minds and rising stars who are shaping the future of the biotech industry through their exceptional dedication and innovative contributions. This award acknowledges individuals who have exhibited remarkable leadership and commitment in the following settings

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  • Academic Excellence: Celebrating individuals at universities who have distinguished themselves through groundbreaking research, academic achievements, and the ability to inspire and lead their peers towards new horizons in biotechnology.
  • Research Innovation: Recognizing peers in research laboratories who have demonstrated unparalleled dedication to advancing biotechnological research, developing innovative solutions, and contributing to the scientific community’s body of knowledge.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit in Pre-commercial SMEs: Honouring leaders within pre-commercial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have shown extraordinary vision in steering their companies towards impactful biotechnological breakthroughs, thereby laying the groundwork for future commercial success.

The “Leadership Award” is not merely a recognition of what has been achieved, but a celebration of the potential to drive transformative change in the biotech industry. It highlights the recipient’s role in laying the foundation for the solutions that will address the most pressing challenges faced by society today and in the future.


Ecosystem Builder Award

The “Ecosystem Builder Award” recognizes an organization or company that has made outstanding contributions to the growth and diversity of the Canadian biotechnology ecosystem, extending their impact beyond business achievements to create significant global influence. This award celebrates individuals or companies/organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership and fostered partnerships, contributing to the advancement of the biotech sector in meaningful ways. The award acknowledges leadership and partnership in one or more of the following areas

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  • Milestone Collaboration: Recognizing organizations that have engaged in collaborative efforts resulting in landmark achievements within the biotech industry in Canada, setting new standards for cooperative success and innovation.
  • Notable Licensing Agreement: Honouring companies that have successfully negotiated licensing agreements which stand out for their strategic importance, facilitating the widespread application and commercialization of biotechnological innovations.
  • Innovative Technology Application: Celebrating entities that have applied biotechnological innovations in transformative ways, leading to the development of novel solutions that address critical challenges in healthcare, agriculture, or environmental sustainability.
  • Discovery of New Products: Acknowledging companies that have made significant breakthroughs in discovering new products, contributing to the diversification and enrichment of the biotech market, and offering new avenues for treatment, diagnosis, or biotechnological application.

The “Ecosystem Builder Award” aims to spotlight those who not only excel within their domain but also contribute to the broader biotech ecosystem, driving growth, innovation, and collaboration across borders. This award represents the recipient’s role as a pivotal force in enhancing the global standing of Canada’s biotech sector.


Promising Biotech Company of the Year Award

The “Promising Biotech Company of the Year Award” is an award designed to spotlight small and mid-sized pre-commercial companies that have set themselves apart from their peers through exceptional achievements and forward-thinking approaches. This award seeks to recognize those organizations that are paving the way towards innovative solutions for current challenges, highlighting their potential to significantly impact the biotech industry. The areas of achievement include

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  • Technological Advancements: Celebrating companies that have made significant strides in biotechnology through innovative research, development, and application of new technologies. This includes breakthroughs that have the potential to transform healthcare, agriculture, environmental sustainability, and more.
  • Business Milestones: Acknowledging companies that have reached critical business milestones, demonstrating strong growth potential, strategic leadership, and the ability to overcome obstacles. This includes notable achievements in funding, scaling operations, or achieving key regulatory milestones.
  • Potential for Strategic Partnerships: Recognizing companies that have shown early indications of forming significant partnerships, which could amplify their impact on the biotech landscape. This includes collaborations with academic institutions, industry leaders, or other organizations that can provide complementary strengths and resources.

The “Promising Biotech Company of the Year Award” is not just an acknowledgment of past and present accomplishments but also a testament to the recipient’s potential to drive future innovations and contribute to the global advancement of biotechnology. This award honours those companies that embody the spirit of innovation, showcasing a promising trajectory in the biotech sector.


Game-Changing Industry Leadership Award

The “Game-Changing Industry Leadership Award” recognizes an individual who has exhibited unparalleled vision and leadership in the Canadian biotechnology sector, with a significant impact on a global scale. This award celebrates visionary leaders who have not only contributed to the advancement of biotechnology in Canada but have also set new benchmarks for excellence across the industry. Key areas of achievement for this award include

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  • Promotion of Industry Growth: Recognizing leaders who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to fostering the growth and development of the biotechnology industry within Canada. This includes efforts to enhance innovation, support startups, and attract investment, thereby strengthening Canada’s position on the global biotech stage.
  • Achievement of Significant Milestones: Honouring individuals who have been instrumental in reaching pivotal milestones that have propelled the industry forward. This includes groundbreaking discoveries in biotech research, securing substantial investments, advancing the development of new technologies or therapies, and pioneering unique business models that are shaping the biotech industry landscape.

The “Game-Changing Industry Leadership Award” is designed to acknowledge those exceptional leaders whose contributions have not only propelled their organizations to new heights but have also inspired change and progress throughout the Canadian biotech ecosystem. Their visionary leadership, coupled with a commitment to innovation and excellence, exemplifies the transformative impact one individual can have in advancing biotechnology both domestically and on a global platform.


Gold Leaf Awards Advisory Group

BIOTECanada’s Gold Leaf Awards started 20 years ago recognizing the remarkable individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the biotechnology industry and ecosystem in Canada.

Given the industry’s recent momentum, and public interest in solutions, BIOTECanada created an independent, robust, and informed process for the governance, nomination, and selection process of the Gold Leaf Awards. An advisory group comprised of esteemed and respected industry leaders representing various BIOTECanada member constituencies assessed the award categories, criteria, and recommended nominations in February.

Gold Leaf Awards Advisory Group:

  • Geneviève Guertin – Fonds de Solidarité FTQ
  • John Norman – Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
  • Shermaine Tilley – CTI Life Sciences Fund
  • Kathleen Lisaingo – AbCellera
  • Penny Walsh-McGuire, Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL)

2024 Gold Leaf Awards Nomination Form

The 2024 Gold Leaf Awards nomination process is open until June 30, 2024.

  • Person or company
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  • Please provide a letter of support (one page. PDF format only) for the nominee highlighting the key reasons the person/company should be considered
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