Governor General’s Innovation Awards


Opportunity type:



The Governor General of Canada



Please note: The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) will circulate a call for nominations for the 2023 Governor General’s Innovation Awards later in September 2023. This information on nominations is provided in advance of the RHF call for nominations.

The awards are given for current or recent innovations that have a positive impact on the quality of life in Canada, whether it is in the private, public or not-for-profit realms. They are not intended for lifetime achievement or innovations that have not yet demonstrated impact.

Nominees can be at any stage in their life or career. Our aim is to have at least one young innovator among the winners who is 30 years of age or younger and who, individually or as leader of a team and/or organization, has been undertaking exceptional, transformative and innovative activities.

Important Considerations:

  • Nominees must be living Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Posthumous nominations are not eligible.
  • In the case where a nominee is identified as a young innovator, he or she must be 30 years of age or younger as of the nomination deadline (November  15).
  • Failure to appropriately address all selection criteria or to provide supporting evidence will weaken the nomination.
  • Since the Assessment and Selection committees are multidisciplinary, the nomination material should be written for non-specialists.
  • By completing the signature block of the online form, the nominating partner will acknowledge that they have received authorization from the nominees to be recommended for the award.
  • Nominees can only be nominated once by one of the nominating partners.
  • To respect privacy, nominations are not made public.


The purpose of the Governor General's Innovation Awards is to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative, entrepreneurial risk-takers who have developed new or better ways of creating value, and who are having a meaningful impact on our quality of life.

Up to six award winners will be chosen each year with the aim to have at least one young innovator among the winners who is 30 years of age or younger. The awards will be given to individuals, teams and/or organizations whose innovations are truly exceptional, transformative, and positive in their impact on quality of life in Canada.


Application deadlines

Program application deadline

November 17, 2023 - 11:59 PM

Additional Information

Please notify Research Services immediately if you intend to nominate a colleague for this award:

Download a sample of the nomination form: PDF version – Word document

Two-Stage Nomination

These awards have a two-stage nomination process.

  • Nominations are first reviewed by nominating partners. Select nominations are forwarded by nominating partners:
    • RSO can facilitate matching nominees with appropriate nominating partners.
    • Nominating partners set their own internal deadlines, typically in September or October.

Nominations from member institutions must be endorsed by and executive head of the institution. For the University of Calgary the the Vice-President (Research) will endorse applications. Nominations will undergo a selection process by a committee of former university presidents before being submitted by Universities Canada to the Rideau Hall Foundation for consideration for the awards.
If selected as one of Universities Canada's nominees, Universities Canada will work with the University and the nominee to prepare the final nomination.

To learn more, view the 2023 Governor General’s Innovation Awards Nomination Criteria.

Contact Details


Governor General’s Innovation Awards