Grad Student’s Lucky Iron Fish Nets Honours


A project headed by a University of Guelph graduate student has received three innovation awards.

The Lucky Iron Fish Project, headed by biomedical science PhD student Gavin Armstrong, won silver at the April 23 Edison Awards in New York City. The honour is named for the inventor Thomas Edison.

On April 16, the Lucky Iron Fish made the “best in the world” list of the non-profit group B Lab, and in March it was recognized by former U.S. president Bill Clinton for the second year in a row.

“The amount of recognition and support the Lucky Iron Fish is generating around the world is truly astounding,” Armstrong said. “It proves that sometimes it is the simplest solutions that will solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.”

The “fish” is a palm-sized chunk of iron placed into water being sterilized or used to prepare food; boiling adds iron to the food and water. It can help provide about 75 per cent of daily iron requirements and increase the body’s iron stores.

The project is intended to combat life-threatening anemia in developing countries. Armstrong is commercializing the technology, which was developed by former Guelph graduate student Christopher Charles.

“These awards help validate that we are living up to our mission of improving both the health and the wealth of the communities we are involved in,” Armstrong said. 

The Edison Awards are considered among the highest accolades a company can receive for innovation and business, according to a news release. Winners are selected by more than 3,000 business executives, academics and leaders in product development, design, engineering, science and medicine.

The B Lab listing recognizes top businesses for social and environmental impact.

The Lucky Iron Fish was recognized at the 8th annual Clinton Global Initiative University in March for changing the world through innovative technology.

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