ARKTOS Craft as pictured on the website of Surrey-based ARKTOS Developments Ltd.

VIDEO: Surrey-based ARKTOS Craft maker among city’s Innovation Award winners

Fleetwood’s Focused Interiors the other winner at Thursday event

SURREY — Two businesses deemed most innovative in Surrey for 2017 were celebrated at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon on Thursday (Sept. 28).

ARKTOS Developments Ltd. won the Excellence in Innovation category award at the 2017 Surrey Innovation Awards, while Focused Interiors took home the Young Innovator Award.

The fourth annual awards event was held at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

“Each of today’s winners exemplifies innovation, that is new ways of doing business,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the board of trade, said. “It is Surrey’s innovative companies that will meet the challengers of the new economy, expanding opportunity in the great city that is Surrey, improving lives locally and globally by transforming ideas and technology into commercial reality.”

The Excellence in Innovation award “recognizes a business that has developed a new or improved technology, service, process or product by using creative methods and innovative thinking that has the potential to transform an industry sector or quality of life.”

The board’s awards committee describes ARKTOS Developments as “a well-established Canadian-owned company that designs and manufactures the unique amphibious ARKTOS Craft at its facility in Surrey and is active in both domestic and international markets.

“ARKTOS Craft were initially developed for use in the Arctic environment as a lifeboat that can go in ice due to planned increased exploration activities by the oil industry. With the financial support and technical assistance of the Canadian government and North American oil companies, the first ARKTOS Craft prototype was built and tested in the Canadian Arctic in 1986.

“Today, the two existing models of ARKTOS Crafts have been used for various applications including by the oil and gas sector as an evacuation system for offshore platforms, for seismic survey work in the Bohai Delta, China and Alaska, (and) for ice management/logistical duties in the Alberta oil sands. They announced, at the event, that they just received a contract for work in Saudi Arabia.”

Its craft can operate in shallow water, ice and water, ice-rubble fields, deep mud, muskeg and quicksand.

ARKTOS Developments is located in Newton at 12634 82nd Ave.

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Meanwhile, the Young Innovator award category “recognizes a young innovator that has developed a new or improved technology, service, process or product by using creative methods and innovative thinking that has the potential to transform quality of life.”

• READ MORE: Fleetwood entrepreneur focused on 360-degree tours of real estate properties, from July 2017

The Fleetwood-based Focused Interiors “creates a visual studio generating photorealistic images of properties in the real estate market,” the board noted. “These images enable property buyers and property owners to see the potential of real estate regardless of its current state. Focused Interiors combines the old ‘proven’ methods of real estate marketing with today’s state-of-the-art graphics and computer technology to present properties in fresh innovative ways.

“Up until now, realtors have not been able to take an existing space and reimagine it for potential buyers. Most sellers are not able to execute the transformations needed to market their home and realtors are left with few options to market and sell these undesirable properties. Focused Interiors addresses this issue by developing interior design solutions for these properties and presents these ideas using photorealistic images and interactive 360 panorama tours. In other words, envisioning what’s possible.”

The judges took intellectual achievement, uniqueness and originality, development, commercialization and benefits to the community into consideration.

— file from Tom Zytaruk

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From left to right: Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman, Kathie-Lee Pugsley of Focused Interiors, and Bruce and Darlene Seligman of ARKTOS Developments. (Photo: Submitted)