Renewed Mitacs – Newfoundland and Labrador Partnership Connecting Top Post-Secondary Talent With Local Businesses
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador - To help Newfoundland and Labrador businesses access the top talent they need, and to further equip students and recent graduates with the skills required to secure good jobs after graduation, the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology today announced a continued collaboration with Mitacs through a $2 million partnership over the next two years.
Minister Parsons made the announcement at Bounce Health Innovation, and was joined by Tash Ismail, Chief Business Development Officer at Mitacs; Dr. Chandra Kavanagh, Director of Bounce Health Innovation; and Bronwyn Bridges, co-founder of St. John’s-based digital health start-up PragmaClin.
Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization that facilitates collaboration between Canada’s private sector and post-secondary institutions, leveraging the strengths of industry, academic researchers and the next generation of top talent to make an impact: driving innovation, stimulating economic growth, and improving Canadians’ well-being.
Through its unique model for work-integrated learning, Mitacs builds productive partnerships – and a strong skilled talent pipeline – between academia and industry.
This two-year partnership between Mitacs and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will produce up to 500 internships, which will help the next generation workforce prepare for high-impact careers, help organizations meet the unprecedented demand for talent, and help attract and retain highly educated young researchers in the province.
Mitacs’s programs enable businesses, health facilities, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations across Newfoundland and Labrador to tap into the knowledge, skills, and expertise embedded at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and the College of the North Atlantic through high-quality, cost-shared internships. By bringing on Mitacs interns, companies can build vital capacity in innovation, strategy, and research in a flexible and affordable way, allowing them to increase productivity, design new or improved offerings, develop groundbreaking technologies, or expand to new markets.
These same programs provide unparalleled opportunities for highly qualified college and university students, postdoctoral fellows and recent graduates to gain invaluable real-world experience in their fields and apply their specialized expertise to find solutions to complex industry challenges. Mitacs, in partnership with the Genesis Centre and the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, also helps entrepreneurial students to pursue their own start-ups. The connections that Mitacs interns – whether they hail from local, domestic, or international communities – make with industry through their Mitacs project allow them to establish their professional networks and set down roots right here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Among the hundreds of organizations Mitacs is supporting across the province, one project currently has six Bounce Health Innovation interns deployed on an International MedTech Innovation Exchange in the United Kingdom. Each intern is representing one Newfoundland and Labrador health tech company on the ground in London, conducting valuable business development work including meeting potential partners, exploring commercial opportunities and researching new markets.
Mitacs’s programs are widely acknowledged by university faculty, policy makers, and business leaders to have a significant positive impact on Newfoundland and Labrador's economic growth, start-up environment, and research and development landscape.
Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
“By investing in high-quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students and recent graduates, we are supporting the development of a resilient workforce, while ensuring that employers can access the top talent and ideas they need. Through support of this program, we are developing, attracting and retaining the talent needed to fuel Newfoundland and Labrador’s knowledge-based economy.”
Tash Ismail, Chief Business Development Officer, Mitacs
“At a time when our economy, our environment, and our very future are at risk, the path to sustainable prosperity relies on cross-sector collaboration, access to skilled talent, and the capacity to innovate. In this lies an opportunity for our innovators to do things differently, to build things better, and to become the architects of solutions rather than waiting for answers. That’s the mission of Mitacs: to create change by harnessing the power of innovation. We see that resolve in Newfoundland and Labrador, too – to discover and design new solutions for everything from healthcare challenges to financial crime to climate change. We are excited and optimistic about our renewed partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. With the generous support of the province, our team will continue, with our industry and post-secondary partners, to deliver real impact.”
Dr. Chandra Kavanagh, Director, Bounce Health Innovation
"Mitacs has enabled Bounce to help grow the pipeline of tech, business and leadership talent by connecting students and researchers to medtech start-ups. This program supports students and researchers in gaining valuable experience. At the same time, it allows new companies to work with highly talented individuals, and drive their business forward."
Bronwyn Bridges, Co-Founder, PragmaClin
“The International MedTech Innovation Exchange program that ran through Bounce Health Innovation and Memorial University has allowed PragmaClin to make strides we could have never imagined. Since having our intern in the UK funded through Mitacs, we have been able to secure a validation trial partner with one of the top neurologists. We continue to work with King’s College and King’s College Hospital on a weekly basis to begin the process of validating our software across the globe and without this program it would not have been possible. The Mitacs program has allowed Emily to be fully focused on the success of PragmaClin and increasing the impact we can have worldwide. Without programs such as these, I truly believe that PragmaClin would not exist or have as much success as we have had.”