Winner of the 2019 Catalyst Award for Top New Biotech Hire announced

Vancouver, June 13, 2019 – BioTalent Canada announced today that Mina Huang, Co-op Research & Development student with the Intestinal Team at STEMCELL Technologies, is the winner of BioTalent Canada’s 2019 Catalyst Award for Top New Hire. The announcement was made publicly at STEMCELL Technologies’ Station Street office in front of a group of peers and industry leaders. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000.

Ms. Huang is the first Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) participant to win the annual award and is described by colleagues as someone “with a natural scientific curiosity and innovative mindset,” who by the end of her term “had not only fit perfectly with STEMCELL’s company culture, but was able to increase the standards for what was expected both at the student and early full-time employee levels.”

“Mina’s work ethic and dedication far exceeded our expectations of a co-op student,” says Helen Sheridan, Senior VP, Human Resources with STEMCELL Technologies. “Her dedication helped bring highly advanced novel technology to production that will be the first commercially available product of its kind.”

As the HR partner and a catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy, BioTalent Canada has built relationships with employers, associations, academic institutions, governments and job seekers to address and alleviate the two key challenges still facing industry leaders – access to capital and access to talent. Its many wage subsidy programs to hire recent graduates continue to be a successful way to ensure this access.

“Bio-economy businesses are experiencing first-hand the benefit from wage subsidies to give young innovators the opportunity to showcase their abilities,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “It’s a pleasure to showcase the accomplishments of young bio-economy professionals because of this financial support,” he said.

The annual Catalyst Award was created in 2015 to recognize the employers who invest in young talent and the dedicated young people, hired through wage subsidies. Catalyst Award applicants were evaluated along four criteria: their contribution to their employer’s company culture and sense of innovation, their contribution to achieving a team’s or company’s business objective and the degree to which they assisted their employer in overcoming a business challenge.

Ms. Huang was selected from award finalists announced last week which included Leanne Bourgeois from Hyasynth Biologicals in Montreal, QC and Thomas Pedron from Ample Organics in Toronto, ON.

For more information on wage subsidies and their positive impact on employers and participants, please see the recent BioTalent Canada labour market information report Green Crossovers.

Read how Mina is making a difference to Canada’s bio-economy.


About BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner and catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is identifying labour market needs, strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. For more information visit

Media inquiries:
Siobhan Williams
Director, Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
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