From the Nominator
“Beyond Prediction” is a short video that highlights University of Waterloo graduate student Lauren Smith, co-founder and CEO of PolyGone Technologies. PolyGone is helping companies detect and eliminate microplastics from their consumer products. Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic that pollute our environment and are often released into our waterways in the form of microfibres when we wash our clothes. These toxins are consumed by aquatic life and have been linked to illness and disease. Currently, washing machines and water treatment systems are not equipped to catch these microplastics. Alongside her partner in business and life, Nicole Balliston, the pair developed the first microfibre detection system in the world. They hope to become recognized as the first science-backed company that can offer plastic-free certification for businesses and also act as role models for other women-identifying/LGBTQ+ community members pursuing STEM.
From the Judges
This video grabs you with the opening, and continues with short, quick, smooth transitions, good film work, and nice music. It delivers a succinct message in a vibrant and interesting way. The message is relevant to the entire population, but also has added value for Waterloo, where the researcher is based. Great way to tell a research story—with a scientist who doesn't fit a stereotype—that talks about impact but in a way that everyone can understand.