Program Focused on Growing Province’s Research and Development Capacity

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Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - Canada

Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
February 17, 2009



The value of partnerships between the private sector, academic community, and Provincial Government were highlighted today at an announcement marking the important role that ACCELERATE Newfoundland and Labrador has in growing the province’s research and development (R&D) activity. The program builds upon the establishment of the Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Council which is actively working to foster initiatives of this nature and supporting R&D growth.

"Newfoundland and Labrador’s research institutions and private sector enterprises are engaged in innovative, ground-breaking work that is garnering attention across Canada and around the world," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "To support sustained activity, the Provincial Government is working with its partners to provide students with access to opportunities where they can acquire greater experience and training. Our investment in ACCELERATE Newfoundland and Labrador represents that commitment by connecting research students with local enterprises looking to expand their R&D capacity."

ACCELERATE Newfoundland and Labrador is a multi-disciplinary internship program that supports collaboration involving graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, supervising professors, and industry partners. During their four-month internship, students undertake research projects on site with partners using advanced research tools and techniques.

"Our public post-secondary institutions play a critical role in the growth of the province’s research and development sector," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. "We have doubled the allocation of funding to support such work in recent years from $5 million to $10 million annually. This investment is helping to support the important research role of our college and university systems."

Administered by MITACS – a national research network that brings together university researchers and companies on collaborative projects – ACCELERATE Newfoundland and Labrador received a $650,000 investment from the Provincial Government in May 2008. Projects can be undertaken in a wide range of areas, including manufacturing, technical innovation, business processes, information technology, social sciences, ocean technologies, and much more. 

"The ACCELERATE program is a new way for Newfoundland and Labrador to expand its research and development through partnerships which will benefit a significant number of graduate students in the province," said Dr. Arvind Gupta, Scientific Director and CEO of MITACS. "This program will help turn the innovators of today into the job creators of tomorrow."

Launched in September 2008, local companies and organizations that have utilized the program include Ballicater Consulting, InCoreTec, Oceanic Consulting, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Atlantic Forestry Centre, Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and IMV Projects Atlantic.

For more information on the MITACS ACCELERATE program, please visit

Funding was provided through the Industrial Research and Innovation Fund (IRIF). Administered by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, IRIF is designed to support research and development and industrial innovation at post-secondary and public research institutions in the province.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624




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