Their research can turn skin cells into blood cells, create new jobs and encourage industry innovation, and there is every indication it will continue to change and improve our lives for years to come.
“I thought I might benefit from learning a little bit more about the business environment, but I didn’t have very high expectations about the workshops themselves,” El Saadany says. It turned out his expectations were to be exceeded by far. In the end, El Saadany took part in half a dozen different Mitacs Step skills development workshops.
Optimization techniques, an emerging innovation, can serve as one of the tools for financial institutions and companies to find better solutions and improve decision-making. With this focus, Mitacs Elevate Fellow Oleksandr Romanko created an industry-academic event called ‘Optimization in Finance and Risk Management’.
This summer, a group of 31 of India’s top undergraduate students visited Cascades as part of the Mitacs Globalink Industry Conference. Created by Mitacs – a national research organization focused on developing the next generation of innovators – Globalink introduces Canada as a world-leading research and innovation destination to top undergraduate students from around the world.
Ankita was hosted by the University of Alberta and worked on her project with Alberta Health Services which involved building a data warehouse to store information of the cancer patients in the province of Alberta.
This September, Nivarti is returning to the University of British Columbia to start his master's degree after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur with the best mark in his class for his Honour's thesis in mechanical engineering.
The collaboration also gave Zaifman a window into the way industry operates. “It was a real eye-opener to see how a company operates. It is very different from the academic experience, it was a new experience for me. Things like communications, project goals, and deadlines are approached very differently in an industry setting.”
“I’m learning a lot,” says Amit Badlani, a Mitacs Globalink program participant from India doing a research internship at Carleton University in Ottawa. “I honestly didn’t think I would get so much out of this.”
Through the support of Mitacs Accelerate, John Ashley Scott, a professor of biochemical engineering at Laurentian University, and Greg Ross, associate dean of research at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine were able to assemble a multi-disciplinary, multi-company research venture undertaken by seven Mitacs Accelerate interns.
For Dr. Rebecca Tittler, the Mitacs Accelerate Quebec internship she undertook with the forestry company AbitibiBowater proved to be “the best of both worlds”, she said, referring to the balance between her academic research independence and working in partnership with industry.
One of the most talked-about biomedical breakthroughs of 2010, this new development offers hope to sufferers of blood and immunological diseases, such as leukemias, who are often unable to find a suitable donor.