Celebrating 1,500 interns in 2018 and 20 years together

Mitacs internships facilitate connections between university students and non-academic partners across Canada. Partner organizations get the immense benefit of high-quality, rigorous research support and access to ground-breaking knowledge from academia—which may be inaccessible otherwise. Highly-skilled students get to apply their research expertise beyond their academic settings, while also building important skills and connections that serve them after graduation.

Quantum start-up explodes traditional airport security

The innovation involves embedding silicon dots into paper. / with R&D internship funding by MitacsBut, until recently, Christina’s idea had been largely relegated to the pages of her PhD thesis and she’d since moved on to start teaching.

Natural beauty start-up goes more than skin deep

Research is essential in the natural products space, where consumers need evidence that products are effective and safe.

But for a small company, doing research isn’t simple. Projects and lab equipment are costly. It’s difficult to find and attract specialized talent. Making connections and fostering relationships between industry and academia is invaluable for a small company like Bend, which wants to maintain leading-edge work.

Mitacs postdoc boosts Bend’s capacity from within

Discovery holds new promise for children with inflammatory bowel disease

Although those figures sound alarming, researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) are one step closer to understanding — and treating —pediatric diseases such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, and others under the IBD umbrella.

Under the supervision of Dr. Laura Sly of UBC’s Department of Pediatrics, Eyler Ngoh, a PhD student, wanted to build on his previous research on the impact of an enzyme called SHIP. His initial work indicated that patients with low levels of SHIP experienced increased inflammation, a symptom common in IBD.

A sweet discovery

Created by heating a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and water, sugar pastes are then cooled to a putty-like consistency. The mixture is non-toxic and used at room temperature without requiring any special solvents for cleaning.

Hearing aid technology sings a different tune

Ryerson University researcher Huiwen Goy is determined to bring back the music for Canadians with hearing loss through a Mitacs Elevate research fellowship with sister companies Phonak and Unitron Hearing.

Huiwen Goy, Ryerson UniversityIn collaboration the Phonak and Unitron teams, Huiwen is investigating the psychology behind the perception of music and how it can be applied to a new generation of hearing aids.

Social sciences research helps digital marketing firm transcend click rates and page views

Treefrog, based in Newmarket, Ontario, knows all about social media for businesses. It provides a variety of marketing services to clients, including ‘traditional’ social media strategy. But a series of ongoing conversations between Sean Stephens, Treefrog CEO, and Laurie Baker, then an anthropology PhD candidate at York University, sparked a shift in how the company approaches social media.

Ontario start-up engages employees with video games

Ontario organizational development consulting firm ODScore asked just that. Except that instead of using actual video games to engage their clients’ employees, they use the principles that make video games engrossing to engage employees at work.

So when they wanted to develop a new service to tackle bigger organizational changes, ODScore turned to the University of Waterloo’s Games Institute for renewed expertise.

At a meeting with Professor Neil Randall, the company learned that what they thought was a technical challenge, was really one of human relations.

Communicating science

“I just knew that there was a better way,” he said. “There had to be a way to engage students using technology.”

Rowan created simulation and visualization tools and shared them with faculty at the university. Suitably impressed, several professors incorporated the new technology into the geology curriculum. Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Rowan revamped the tools after graduation and put them online. His tools are now used at universities worldwide to help educate and engage budding geologists.

Stepping into industry

Innovation through a gender lens

Why can’t the surgeon operate on the boy? 

Sarah Saska tells many people this now dated riddle and waits patiently for their answer. “Even in 2016, people hesitate because their first instinct tells them the surgeon must be the boy’s father, or perhaps the boy’s second father,” she explains. “Of course, the surgeon could be the boy’s mother, but it’s not often people’s first response, and this example illustrates how deeply gender bias is embedded in Canadian society.”

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