Toronto: A Kolkata-born scientist, whose invention is powering NASA astronaut's suits, and a paramedic who reached out to tsunami-hit people and quake victims in Pakistan, are among 11 Indo-Canadians honoured by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for their outstanding achievements in business, science and humanitarian work.

The awards were presented at the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) Annual awards on Saturday night.

Dr. Sankar Das Gupta (55), founder and Chief Executive Officer of Electrovaya, who has more than 200 global patents to his name, has seen his invention go as far as outer space.

Support system for suits

NASA is using his patented lithium ion-super-polymer battery technology to power the life support system for astronaut's suits.

Partnering with Microsoft, he has developed the Scribbler, a wireless laptop that runs eight to ten hours on a single charge and weighs less than 1.4 kg.

He has also designed a Green Car that is powered by the same technology (Lithium ion super polymer technology) and that can go 300 km on a single charge at a cost of Rs. 80. " There are 750 million vehicles in the world. They are all burning oil and contributing to global warming," Dr. Das Gupta said. .

Prof Asit K Biswas was honoured for his excellent contribution in formulating water resources management practices. "Technology does not (not) recognize geographic boundaries," he said.