Charlottetown-based commercialization group Synapse is playing a role in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the University of Prince Edward island by launching two annual awards that recognize innovators with a connection to the university.

"As the commercialization office for the university, every day we have the pleasure of helping a wide variety of UPEI innovators in the journey of moving their ideas forward," Synapse CEO Justin Moores said in a statement. 

“We're in the process of accepting nominations to identify award candidates from the university's past or present who have made a distinct contribution to their community through research, design and/or a service that addressed a challenge and made a tangible impact," said Moores from his office on the university campus.

The new awards are modelled on the existing Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni awards currently administered through the university's Alumni Association.  Following that model, one of the new Innovator of the Year Awards will be presented to an individual 40 years of age or younger, and the second will go to someone over the age of 40.

The awards will be presented at the "Innovation Celebration" an informal evening event that Synapse will host on campus on Sept. 25, kicking off UPEI Homecoming Week activities.

Nominations for the awards can be made online through the Synapse website here until Aug.15.