The ONB-hosted New Brunswick Export Awards recognize outstanding export performance by New Brunswick-based companies in the international marketplace. These awards aim to celebrate the business savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation of businesses located in the province that have achieved either recent and/or ongoing success in developing new markets.
The 2022 ceremony was held, after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, on May 26th at the Delta Fredericton, with world-class NB companies being honoured in seven categories (more on those below). ONB is very proud to have played host to such a successful event. The energy in the room was extremely proud and celebratory, with over 250 attendees happy to be able to recognize the successes of our companies once again.
Winners were chosen by a five-person judging panel comprised of experts from the private sector and academia. Judges were selected based on knowledge of the New Brunswick business community and understanding of international trade. A much-deserved congratulations goes out to the panel, who had their work cut for them this year given the number of strong applicants to choose from.
Why We Celebrate
Exporting is part of New Brunswick’s economic DNA, and we remain one of the most export-driven economies in Canada. The good news is that our businesses are further diversifying their exports, in markets like India, Europe, and in the United States.
We know we have many great export success stories in New Brunswick. Companies whose stories we are telling right here are reaching out to new markets, taking risks, and seeing international success. We know it can be done in New Brunswick, and that’s why we were thrilled to bring the Export Awards back from its COVID hiatus, to resume championing our top entrepreneurs and businesses. Our continued success as a province depends on our companies and their ability to bring new money into New Brunswick via exports and import replacement.
Shining a Spotlight on Our Businesses
The 37 companies that contended for Export Awards this year highlight the incredible diversity of products and services offered by New Brunswick-based companies – everything from NB staples like seafood and value-added wood products to things like un-dried frozen fresh tea, thermal conductivity solutions, sustainable food growing solutions, target shooting technology, firetruck manufacturing, and mixed-reality software.
This year’s winners, in the five categories voted on by our judges, were:
C-Therm Technologies (Exporter of the Year – Over $5 million in Export Sales)
C-Therm is the world leader in thermal conductivity instrumentation for testing and measurement of a range of polymer, composite, textile, ceramic, and other novel materials. Truly a global exporter, C-Therm has a great brand reputation in top markets such as the US, the UK, France, South Korea, Japan, and China. Exporting represents a huge part of C-Therm’s success, accounting for approximately 95% of sales.
Chinova Bioworks (Exporter of the Year – Under $5 million in Export Sales)
Chinova has developed a natural food and beverage preservative extracted from the stems of white button mushrooms. Their technology reduces reliance on artificial ingredients and improves quality, freshness, and shelf-life. Exporting to international markets has allowed Chinova to expand its global reach, increase revenue, expand its production and distribution activities, and add value to the economic development of the province by creating job opportunities.
Smart Skin Technologies (Innovative Exporter of the Year)
Smart Skin designs, manufactures, and exports a sophisticated drone technology that provides insights that identify root-cause issues that lead to damaged products, waste, and manufacturing downtime in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. It exports over 300 unique sensor solutions customized to match its customers’ product portfolio, with six granted patents and several more pending. Its technology has been adapted by some of the world’s most notable pharmaceutical companies manufacturing and packaging vaccines against a host of viruses including SARS-CoV-2.
Cooke Aquaculture Inc. (Global Diversification Award)
Cooke has Atlantic salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, the US, Chile, and Scotland, and seabass and seabream farming operations in Spain. Its family of companies encompasses global aquaculture divisions including its wholly-owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon, as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under Cooke Seafood USA, Wanchese Fish Company, Omega Protein Corporation, Cooke Uruguay S.A. and Seajoy Seafood Corporation.
Cooke primarily exports locally farmed Atlantic salmon products to grocers and food service providers. It also exports other species including shellfish such as shrimp, scallops, crab, oysters, and whitefish including cod, halibut, pollock, and sablefish.
Kognitiv Spark (Yves Maillet Emerging Exporter of the Year)
Kognitiv Spark is a leading mixed reality software company that enables organizations to better connect their workforces. It now supports a global client base operating in the manufacturing, energy, aerospace, defence, marine, and other industrial sectors. RemoteSpark™ is their flagship mixed reality communications platform. It allows a remote worker to establish a low-bandwidth, secure audio-video call with a subject matter expert when they need help solving a complex problem. It is currently exporting throughout North America, South America, the UK, and Europe. Mixed reality is still an emerging technology, so accessing international markets allows the company to target and qualify more technologically advanced prospects.
This year saw ONB select winners in two additional categories.
UNI Financial Cooperation (Impact Award)
The Impact Award recognizes a company that has had a significant impact on New Brunswick’s economy by choosing to reinvest, grow, and recruit here.
With its 5.2 billion in assets, UNI is the largest Acadian francophone financial institution. It includes, among others, 1 caisse, 35 business locations, 4 UNI Business offices, 15 UNI Insurance offices, and 2 UNI Wealth Management offices. It has a citizen cooperative structure made up of 3 cooperative committees and 36 members.
UNI is an important provincial employer and capitalizes on the skills of more than 900 employees. ONB is thrilled to work with UNI on its growth efforts. Our most recent contribution in the form of a payroll rebate for an amount of $1.5M will support the creation of 99 full-time roles that will contribute $2M in provincial income taxes and $59.2M in direct provincial GDP over four years. The Return on Investment (ROI) is estimated at 37.2%.
The Resilience Award recognized a New Brunswick exporter(s) demonstrating notable resilience in navigating its business and its people through the obstacles presented by the pandemic.
Wabanaki Maple, makers of a variety of delicious maple products, was just launching when COVID-19 struck. Unable to take part in planned in-person events, it quickly pivoted to bolstering its online presence and using that presence to better tell its story. It switched focus to e-commerce and improved its search engine optimization to reach the front page of Google for its targeted keywords. It also formed new partnerships with other New Brunswick businesses and launched a new product even while the pandemic was at its height.
Razor, meanwhile, took a multi-pronged approach to handling the challenges brought by COVID-19. It strengthened partnerships with existing clients and vendors, built new strategic partnerships with more local companies, reached out to its largest steel supplier for new leads and connections, added a new sales component, diversified its production, and, through mass purchasing of materials were able to hold off on price increases for 14 months, allowing them to make products at a cheaper rate than competitors.
ONB would like to thank the event sponsors, our judges, the team at Delta Fredericton, and our many partners on a successful return for the NB Export Awards. We look forward to bringing you this important event again next spring. Stay tuned to this space for details on that event!