Social innovation

Creating impact through social innovation

At Mitacs, we believe social innovation is a vital part of the innovation ecosystem.

Build a better world through social innovation

Organizations of all types can create positive social and environmental outcomes. Whether you are working for a community-based not-for-profit organization or trying to create change from within a multinational company it is important that you minimize harm and create meaningful impact. 

In your organization’s mission to achieve that impact you will find yourself coming up against some of the most complex and intractable challenges we face as a society — inequality, systemic racism, climate change, accessibility. 



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Avoid stalled progress

Whether your goal is system transformation or better understanding the impact of work you are already doing, it can be difficult to find the resources and expertise you need to tackle these complex challenges. Even when you have the resources, how do you ensure that you are working in a way that is fair and ethical — especially if you work directly with communities?

Organizations are often so mired in the crush of day-to-day operations that it can be hard to find the space to be reflective and intentional about creating social impact. So, how can you avoid stalled progress and, instead, realize the full potential for your organization to help drive change?

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Mitacs delivers the expertise needed to help you take on challenging problems

Mitacs’s collaborative research approach can help public, private, and not-for-profit partners to understand community needs, operate effectively and identify novel pathways to reach your goals. Partner with academics in your existing network or work with Mitacs to find researchers who have the expertise you need. Projects create paid research internship opportunities for college and university students, and the exposure to your organization may even inspire them in their future career. 

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Reduce barriers

Mitacs can help to reduce the barriers for your organization to engage in the academic research that can deliver the insights you need to drive short-term impact or long-term transformation. With more than 20 years of experience facilitating successful collaborations, with our networks of postsecondary academic institutions, access to talent, and ability to help fund projects we are committed to developing partnerships and projects that enable communities to make progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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How we help you achieve your goals

  •  A team of 100+ advisors, embedded at Canadian colleges and universities, finds the expertise you need and helps you navigate academic partnerships
  •  Help you recruit highly skilled talent
  •  Make your budget go further: Mitacs’s co-investment means your contribution is only 50% of the project’s cost
  • Programs that are non-competitive and open on a rolling basis create a reliable funding source you can plan around
  • Projects start at $10,000 for 4-6 months and grow with your ambition and there is no size limit
Your Key Benefits

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Maximize your R&D and innovation budgets and make your money go further

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We work with you to develop the scope and the roadmap of the project to achieve your goals

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We provide you with access to expertise not available in-house

Innovation insights

Mitacs has fostered thousands of successful collaborations between organizations and researchers.


Putting woodland conservation into the social media conversation

Biologist employs new strategy to spread awareness of endangered Garry oak habitats So she began a Master of Professional Communications at Royal Roads University. Now, thanks to a Mitacs internship, Alina is helping the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) enlist the public’s support to save endangered woodland areas. “I’ve always scratched my head about […]

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