New funding to help researchers acquire valuable work experience in the private sector in Newfoundland & Labrador
A $1.2 million funding arrangement announced today between the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) and Mitacs will provide graduate-level researchers with new research and development (R&D) opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The funding for the Mitacs Accelerate research internship program enables graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to lead R&D projects, connect with local businesses and apply their specialized skills and ideas to real world technical challenges. These four-month internships will also assist graduate students and post-doctoral fellows acquire practical research and business skills, and businesses to access the research talent they need to drive innovation.
“R&D is critical in driving innovation in every sector of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for RDC. “These R&D internships promote and encourage industry innovation, research excellence and the development of highly-qualified personnel, all of which are essential to supporting economic growth in our province for generations to come.”
The funding arrangement will provide each graduate student or post-doctoral fellow with a $15,000 research grant ($7,500 from an industry partner and $7,500 from the Mitacs/RDC partnership). Of the total investment, RDC is contributing $500,000 over a two-year period and Mitacs is investing $720,000.
This funding partnership will support up to 100 collaborative R&D internships for Memorial University graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. They will divide their time evenly over the four-month internship between the industry partner (understanding issues, collecting data, and interacting with employees) and Memorial University (collaborating with faculty and utilizing research resources under the guidance of their supervising professor).
“The benefits of RDC-Mitacs Accelerate internships are twofold,” said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer of RDC. “Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows get the opportunity to apply their knowledge and expertise to real-world challenges and companies benefit from high-quality research, novel solutions and innovative thinking. This partnership will enhance industry R&D capacity and build a highly educated workforce, which is a key driver of business innovation and competitiveness.”
Research internships cover a wide range of themes including energy, ocean technology, manufacturing, information and communication technologies, health and life sciences, minerals and mining, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, and agriculture.
“As Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy becomes more technology intensive, it needs now, more than ever, to ensure its talented, future innovators are given every opportunity to contribute,” said Dr. Arvind Gupta, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs. “By building bridges between academia and industry, young researchers will contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador’s reputation as a business-friendly province where innovation drives economic growth.”
“The Mitacs Accelerate program provides Memorial University students and post-doctoral fellows with the chance to translate their ideas and skills from theory into practice,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, Vice-President (Research), Memorial University. “Harnessing the enthusiasm, energy and creativity of these highly qualified individuals is an important step in narrowing Canada’s innovation gap and, in turn, strengthening the global competitiveness of its small to medium-sized enterprises.”
Further details on the Mitacs Accelerate program are available online at www.mitacs.ca.
About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. In Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government allocated more than $19 million to make strategic research and development related investments in people, strategic opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.
Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. In partnership with companies, government and academia, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource – its people. For more information, visit www.mitacs.ca.