16,000 +

research and innovation projects funded

$858M +

invested in the last 10 years

$250M

invested in 2019-20

33,000

researchers in our network

6,000 +

industry partners

117

post-secondary partners

6,000 +

international research internships

1,450 +

professional skills courses

22,000 +

training participants
Case Study

Research, collaboration

and partnerships

Takeaways

  • Challenge: The instability of gravel roads in Manitoba posed safety challenges for drivers and risks to the natural environment.
  • Solution: Cypher Environmental teamed with Mitacs and Brandon University on a research project to develop solutions.
  • Outcome: The research team created EarthZyme, a clay-based polymer that binds the loose gravel into a more stable cement-like surface

Soil-stabilization company Cypher Environmental teamed with Mitacs and Brandon University to tackle the problem of unpaved gravel roads in rural and northern Manitoba. The unstable road surfaces had long posed challenges to drivers — especially truck drivers — and the dust and debris from the roads were negatively impacting nearby lakes and streams.

Mitacs facilitated a collaboration between Cypher, Brandon University Professor Hamid Mumin and research intern Riley Cram to develop a solution. The result was the creation of a revolutionary clay-based polymer — called EarthZyme — which binds loose gravel and gives it a much more stable, cement-like quality.

We now have hard data as well as a finished product that our customers can see for themselves. — Teaghan Wellman, Director of Research and Development, Cypher Environmental

The research collaboration not only provided Cram with invaluable hands-on experience, but allowed Cypher to foster the research, development and testing of EarthZyme under the expertise of a skilled academic team. “We were able to specifically quantify how strong the roads become after we’ve treated them with our product,” says Teaghan Wellman, Cypher’s then-Director of Research and Development. “It gives us a certain scientific backing so that we now have hard data as well as a finished product that our customers can see for themselves.”

The collaboration was so successful that Cram was offered a job by Cypher after graduation, and Mumin is exploring future research partnerships with Mitacs. The team’s innovative solution will help make roads safer and protect nearby ecosystems, as well as help companies and municipalities save millions of dollars in maintenance and environmental clean-up every year.

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Mitacs Team

Mitacs’s website content is created by people throughout our organization, united in their passion for innovation and eager to share their perspectives with others in the innovation ecosystem. 

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for over 20 years. Working with over 100 post-secondary institutions, more than 6,000 companies and not-for-profit organzations, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. 

Organizations we have worked with