ENCQOR 5G and Mitacs join forces to support Quebec SMEs and 5G innovation to tackle COVID-19 pandemic challenges

Montréal, QC, May 1, 2020 — ENCQOR 5G and Mitacs are pleased to announce they have joined forces to support Quebec small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 5G innovation to address the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Through this new Mitacs-ENCQOR agreement, additional funding is available for Quebec SME businesses and post-secondary partnership initiatives that want to use the ENCQOR network to address the demands placed on 5G technology development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will help businesses respond to federal and provincial expectations to rapidly solve various COVID-19 challenges.

For a finite period to expedite COVID-19-related research and development, funding is available for Quebec’s small- and medium-sized businesses from a specific Mitacs initiative and from ENCQOR 5G. With an approved project, ENCQOR 5G will invest $3,750, for total award of $15,000 covering an intern’s stipend over four to six months. Because ENCQOR 5G is contributing the industry portion, Quebec’s small- and medium-sized businesses may partner at no cost.

In addition, eligible projects related to COVID-19 are being fast-tracked to ensure a quick start.

SMEs interested in submitting a project can access the application via the ENCQOR 5G website.

Recently, ENCQOR 5G and Mitacs also announced a new partnership which enables 5G skills development and knowledge advancement by connecting industry partners with research talent, universities, and Mitacs’s innovation network that includes SMEs and large enterprises across Canada to develop collaborations through the network. Partner businesses and organizations can benefit from having access to ENCQOR 5G’s testbed in order to advance their research and innovation agendas.

The ENCQOR 5G program — a public-private partnership between the Governments of Canada, Quebec, and Ontario, and industry leaders Ciena, Ericsson, Thales, IBM Canada, and CGI Inc. —  is working to advance the ‘always-on’ Internet connection required to support 5G initiatives such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), smart cities, health, education, connected and autonomous vehicles, entertainment and media, and the digital transformation in manufacturing.


Pierre Boucher, Director General, Innovation, ENCQOR 5G

“By collaborating with Mitacs on this initiative, we will expedite the advancement of 5G technology to serve the needs of Canada during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. ENCQOR 5G is proud to work together with partners to drive Canada’s innovation ecosystem and to make the Canadian economy more resilient to face events such as this COVID-19 pandemic.”

John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“As COVID-19 creates increasing demand on our telecommunications infrastructure, Mitacs is pleased to partner with ENCQOR 5G to drive the necessary technology forward. We are proud to tap into our networks of business and academic partners to drive this important advancement for Canada.”

For Mitacs news including the following COVID-19-related releases:

  • Getting research talent to companies faster: new industrial postdoctoral funding to address COVID-19
  • Mitacs and AGE-WELL collaborate to fund innovation supporting seniors during COVID-19
  • College interns primed to accelerate Mitacs COVID-19 research projects
  • Mitacs links companies, organizations, networks, researchers for COVID-19 solutions

Quick facts about ENCQOR:

  • ENCQOR 5G (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) is a transformational Canada-Quebec-Ontario partnership focused on innovation in the field of 5G technologies.
  • The project brings together industry, SMEs, the public sector, centres for innovation, and academia. It aims to unlock the technological promise of 5G in the short term and stimulate economic growth in the long term.
  • ENCQOR 5G has five centres for innovation located in Ontario and Quebec that offer a 5G test platform where SMEs can develop and test new solutions for free.

Quick facts about Mitacs:

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions.
  • Working with over 100 post-secondary institutions, 6,000 companies, and both federal and provincial governments, it builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. 
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan.


For information:       

Frédéric Tremblay



Heather Young

Director, Communications, Mitacs

604-818-0020 | hyoung@mitacs.ca