Please contact a Business Development representative if you are unsure of your specific situation or if you have any questions.
About the program
In partnership with Canadian academic institutions, Mitacs is pleased to offer the Business Strategy Internship (BSI). The award provides either $10,000 or $15,000 per intern to allow them to undertake a four-month internship project with a partner organization in Canada. Interns will work with their academic supervisor to co-design a project with their partner organization to work on the organization’s innovation activities, helping them improve their products, processes, or services. Throughout the internship, Mitacs provides online professional development courses to interns through our e-Campus, EDGE.
**Please note: any interns who are approved will not be able to access the EDGE learning system until August-September as our curriculum is currently being updated. You will receive a notification from our system when the curriculum is ready.
The BSI program aims to:
- support innovation to generate knowledge and its transfer between academic and non-academic sectors
- strengthen the innovation capabilities of partner organizations
- support the creation and ownership of intellectual property in Canada
- promote collaboration between sectors by reducing the risk for companies to engage in innovation
- provide work-integrated learning and professional skills training to increase employability of post-secondary students
- ensure and promote equitable access by underrepresented groups to foster inclusive innovation
Innovation projects are expected to lead to change and improvements for the partner and/or community, through exploration, design, and implementation of improvements/efficiencies in business models, products, processes, or service delivery.
- The BSI program will provide an award of $10,000 per intern with the full amount of the award going towards intern stipend. The partner organization will contribute $5,000 towards the award.
- Alternatively, partner organizations can select a $15,000 funding model where up to $5,000 of the funds can be used for eligible project costs or to top up an intern stipend. Any combination of funding is allowed as long as the minimum intern stipend is $10,000 and the minimum partner organization contribution is $7,500.
- Projects should be designed as four-month internships, however, they can be adjusted to six-month internships to provide flexibility to accommodate the intern’s other responsibilities.
- Projects will be designed to address one or more business innovation components (i.e., marketing, operations, finance, intellectual property (IP), etc.) dependent on the needs of the organization.
- Projects submitted to Mitacs will be adjudicated to ensure that the participants meet the necessary requirements and that the work outlined is eligible for the program.
- Each project will require supervision from a supervisor at the partner organization and an academic supervisor or a point of contact appointed by the institution to oversee the work and the intern.
- Interns are expected to meet weekly with both supervisors to report on the progress of their project. Virtual meetings are acceptable.
- Interns and both supervisors will be required to complete an exit survey at the end of the program reporting on project outcomes, skills developed and providing feedback on the program experience.
- Interns will deliver a final presentation to their supervisors summarizing the work at project completion.
How it works
- Prospective interns and/or academic supervisors apply to the program through the Mitacs Registration and Application Portal (RAP) and complete all sections of the application.
- All participants (intern, academic supervisor, partner organization) sign off on the application through the RAP.
- The lead applicant downloads the completed project proposal and ORS sign-off template and sends to the ORS or equivalent office for review and signature.
- The lead applicant uploads the ORS signature page to the RAP and submits the application.
Currently, due to high demand, Mitacs can only accept applications to the BSI program in the following provinces and territory:
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
Application review (approximately four weeks)
- Mitacs receives the application and reviews against selection criteria while checking for eligibility and completeness.
- Partner organizations are invoiced for their contribution upon application submission.
- Applicants may be asked to revise their project proposal if sections are incomplete.
Project approval (approximately three weeks)
- Project start dates cannot pre-date the Approval letter you receive from Mitacs.
- Once the project is approved and all partner contributions have been received, award funds are released to the intern's academic institution to be paid out to the intern.
Project launch to completion
- Project work should not start until the intern has received the funds from the academic institution.
- Projects should be four-months long or can be extended to six-months part-time for increased flexibility.
Reporting and exit survey
- All participants (intern, academic supervisor, partner organization) are required to complete an exit survey within 30 days of the project end date.
- Academic institutions are required to submit a Financial Report to Mitacs once all project funds have been paid out.
Release of funds
Mitacs invoices a partner organization upon submission of their BSI proposal. Upon receipt of the partner’s contribution, Mitacs forwards the award to the Canadian academic institution. No funds will be released to the academic institution until the invoice has been paid and the proposal is approved. Mitacs has no control over when funds are administered by the academic institution. If you have questions about your BSI award after Mitacs has released funds, contact your academic institution's Office of Research Services (or equivalent).
To learn more about the program, visit the How to apply tab.