Recognizing this challenge, EcoPlan International set out to develop communications tools that would assist First Nations leaders as they move forward on key community planning decisions. They did so by partnering with University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) Masters student, Juliet Van Vliet through Mitacs-Accelerate to develop a custom Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map database for several Métis communities in Alberta.
Having developed key relationships and a trail platform with the seafood industry across the country, Ecotrust Canada was ready to launch Thisfish as a full, social-purpose venture. Simon Fraser University student George Chatzivasileiou undertook a Mitacs Accelerate internship to conduct industry research and contributing to key aspects of the business plan.
About to enter his fourth year of study at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Surojit had been considering a research internship in Germany. However, when accepted into the Mitacs Globalink program to undertake an internship with Dr. Amit Kumar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, , he says “I knew that the Mitacs program would give me the best experience overall.”
Through the support of Mitacs Accelerate, John Ashley Scott, a professor of biochemical engineering at Laurentian University, and Greg Ross, associate dean of research at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine were able to assemble a multi-disciplinary, multi-company research venture undertaken by seven Mitacs Accelerate interns. Involving both a school of process engineering and of medicine this project investigates the potential use of microalgae to produce carbon-neutral fuels and develop pharmaceuticals from microalgae grown on marginal land.
Her research project, which saw her elaborate a portrait of the preindustrial forest in the Mauricie region which helped AbitibiBowater gain a desired environmental certification, fitted very well with her wider research interest as a modeler. “Accelerate provides something relatively few other internship programs offer: its short, four to six month time frame, gives you a lot of flexibility to pursue a very defined project within a larger research context,” Dr. Tittler explains.