Two businesses, a high school and the Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation are this year’s winners of the provincial government’s Export and Innovation awards.
Best Boy Entertainment, a
Mount Pearl-based film, television and digital media company, won the Innovation in Business award for its ability “to create new opportunities through innovation,” according to a news release from the provincial government.
Ed Martin, Best Boy’s executive producer, said the company was excited to receive the award.
The honours were handed out Monday evening at a ceremony at the Delta Hotel.
“They’re homegrown products, and we’re trying to develop a homegrown industry, and these products speak to that objective: Newfoundland and Labrador-developed projects, specifically designed for global consumption,” Martin told The Telegram, pointing to Best Boy’s newest project Math Fun 123, a package of mobile games designed to teach math fundamentals to preschoolers.
“The digital media space has an opportunity to be one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s anchor industries, without a doubt. Right now, it’s a $120-billion industry worldwide. Canada will do $4 billion in this industry this year. It will grow to $6 billion within two years. And our feeling is, of that $2 billion in growth — and we think, by the way, that that’s a conservative estimate — there’s no reason Newfoundland and Labrador can’t get a lion’s share of that.”
Martin said the industry isn’t
limited by geographical boundaries.
“It doesn’t matter that we’re an island in the North Atlantic that inhibits so many other industries,” he said.
“It’s a matter of having great ideas and great talent, which we have in abundance, and then the ability to take these products to market.”
Company experienced rapid growth
The Exporter of the Year award went to Verafin, which provides fraud detection and anti-money-laundering software, to recognize the company’s rapid growth. The Distinction in Innovation award, meant to distinguish an individual or group that has taken a leadership role in advancing the province’s innovative culture, went to the Centre for Marine Simulation.
Harbour Grace’s St. Francis School earned an Award of Merit, for its efforts — led by technology teacher Norman Littlejohn — to introduce students to “innovative learning experiences that capture their interest and encourage them to think, create and innovate,” according to the province.