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The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation hosted its annual awards gala Wednesday evening and top kudos went to a manufacturer of video studio and production equipment from south of Ottawa.

At the gala event at the Westin Hotel, Ross Video took OCRI's Technology Company of the Year award.

Ross Video designs and manufactures studio production gear as well as equipment that distributes video signals. The company's customers include major broadcasters, stadiums and production companies worldwide and it competes successfully against multinational firms many times its size. Ross is headquartered in Iroquois an hour south of Ottawa with its U.S. operations based in Ogdensburg, NY and another facility in Ottawa.

Peter Strom, president and CEO of March Networks, was named Next Generation Executive of the year. Mr. Strom joined March Networks in 2003 as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Less than a year later, he was promoted to CEO. March is currently in the midst of launching an initial public offering.

QNX, a maker of operating systems for in-car computers, won the OCRI Partnership award.

Nakina Systems, which only this week announced a second round of VC worth US$10 million, was named Most Promising Startup.

"The OCRI Awards have quickly become one of the most prestigious awards in Ottawa," said OCRI president Jeffrey Dale. "We began the OCRI Awards in 1995 with the mission to generate recognition of deserving companies and individuals among the business community. This year, our awards program has evolved into one that reflects the changing landscape of Ottawa's business community."

Other award winners were BelAir Networks, product of the year; Fidus Systems, service of the year; Paul Brent, CJOH-TV, best news story; and Allen-Vanguard, best financial deal.

The event also featured the presentation of the National Capital Institute of Telecommunications' "Under 40 Award for Researchers in Photonics". Ian Betty of Bookham Technology was presented with the award, which recognizes a researcher in the early phase of his or her career for contributions to the development of photonics science and technology.

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