Over 400 Canadian companies innovating their way out of a global recession
The MITACS ACCELERATE graduate internship program allows businesses of all sizes to easily tap into the vast research expertise found at Canada’s top universities
Toronto, Ontario (May 27, 2009): While many Canadian companies are laying off employees during the current recession, a sizeable number are taking a different approach and choosing to make targeted investments in research and development with MITACS. Many of these investments have paid off in the form of new products and services which are now being commercialized.
"We have supported four MITACS ACCELERATE internships to assist in product development and speed our commercial launch. The interns brought great skills to the company which are very valuable especially during an economic downturn,” says Dr. Réda Fayek, President and Chief Operating Officer of Dynacon in Missisauga, a leader in pre-analytical microbiology automation. “The students also gained invaluable experience and participated in a unique phase of creating a new product. This program is truly is a win-win opportunity.”
The MITACS ACCELERATE program is funded through a partnership between the Federal and Provincial governments as well as Canadian industry and was first launched in 2003. In its first year, a total of 18 industry internships were secured. In 2008 - 2009, MITACS approved over 600 internships and partnered with over 400 companies across Canada. This is a 155% increase in internships compared to the previous fiscal year.
“We fully expected the economic crisis would impact the overall number of companies wanting to partner with us to conduct R&D activities,” says Dr. Arvind Gupta, Scientific Director of MITACS, the largest of Canada’s federally-funded Networks of Centres of Excellence with offices throughout the country.
In Ontario, the total number of internships in 2008 – 2009 was 200, a substantial increase from the 14 funded in 2007 -2008. In British Columbia, a total of 250 internships were approved, 40% more than the previous year.
“Our goal is to partner with Canadian businesses to develop 1200 new internships in Canada this year,” says Gupta. “In partnership with the federal and provincial governments, we’re working to create a whole new culture of innovation in Canada that will generate additional economic activity and jobs.”
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