Awards & Judging Process

Award Categories

Innovative New Product or Service (Private Sector)

This award recognizes a successful launch of an innovative product or service by a private sector company over the past 12 months. Products or services could still be at the development stage however there must be some measure of success either identified or established. Companies investing in research and development of new technologies and innovations are also eligible in this category. Knowledge based innovations impacting any industry are eligible to be nominated.

2.  Most Promising Start-Up

From a great idea to thinking outside the box, in technical or managerial terms, this award recognizes a company in business less than two years with something fresh to say in the marketplace or a new approach to addressing an old problem.   Knowledge based innovations impacting any industry positively are eligible to be nominated.

3. Innovation in the Public Sector

This award recognizes the adoption of an innovative new solution or approach for the delivery of a new or existing service over the past 12 months.  Public institutions including government departments, municipalities, universities and community colleges are eligible to apply.  The innovation may also have been achieved through a partnership between the public and private or academic sectors.

4. Industry Champion

This award recognizes the efforts of an individual, company or group toward changing the landscape of the knowledge industry in our province by raising awareness of the industry. This awareness could be in the form of promoting the industry itself or its positive impact on communities and the province overall.   Positive impacts could be in the form of direct community engagement, promoting the knowledge industry as a community partner or supporting community development.

5. Economic Impact – The oNBoard Award

This award recognizes a company or organization that has demonstrated employment growth through strategic and sustainable planning over time. In this specific case, the time period in question is the preceding two years.


KIRA Nomination Process and Guidelines Overview

The KIRA’s have become a recognizable brand depicting knowledge industry recognition for excellence. Those nominated, selected finalists, and category winners are celebrated as New Brunswick’s leaders in innovation, entrepreneurism, market entry and expansion, collaboration, and growth. To this extent, the KIRA Organizing Committee places high emphasis on the nomination and judging process.

The Nomination and Judging process is managed by a selected committee which represents a cross section of the province, industries, culture, and experience.  At times this also includes industry leaders from national and international organizations. The judging event is monitored by a third party accounting firm to ensure authenticity and proper recording of the results. In addition the judging committee is required to sign confidentiality and conflict of interest disclosures prior to the judging event. This event is held within seven days after the close of the nomination interval. The identification of the judging committee is held in strict confidence as a measure to protect the integrity of the overall process. Only the Chair of the Nomination Committee controls the identity of the winner in each category until the KIRA event.

Judging criteria is restricted to only the information contained within the nomination submission. No personal information or that obtained outside the nomination entry can be used in evaluating each submission.  A scoring system is used to rate each submission and the top three submissions become the finalist for the category. The highest score tabulated is recorded as the winner. The judging panel has the discretion to contact the nominator to confirm data or information included in the submission.