Federal Budget 2015: Targeted investment in R&D to improve Canadian innovation

Vancouver, BC –  The Government of Canada’s budget today announced an additional investment of $56.4 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to support industrial research internships for graduate students through the Mitacs Accelerate program.

The new funding will support an additional 6,000 internships over four years, effectively doubling the program by 2020.

Mitacs Accelerate provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with career-ready skills as they apply their specialized expertise to business-focused challenges in partnership with industry and not-for-profit organizations. Internships are supported by the Government of Canada, industry partners, and provincial governments.

The impact of Mitacs Accelerate on Canadian R&D investment, innovation, and business outcomes was recently revealed in a longitudinal survey. As a result of their collaboration with Mitacs, former industry partners overwhelmingly report that the Accelerate program met their corporate needs:

  • 66 percent of projects have resulted, or will result, in commercialization,
  • 25 percent of the interns were hired into new positions, and;
  • 18 percent of companies saw their profits grow through cost savings.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs
“This new funding will support R&D collaborations, which will see graduate students transfer their skills from theory to application while our partner companies grow through innovation. We are grateful that the Government of Canada has taken a significant step to further promote innovation and productivity in Canada by expanding investment in Mitacs Accelerate and supporting collaboration between industry and Canadian universities.”

 Chris Priebe, CEO, Two Hat Security

“Mitacs Accelerate allowed us to explore a new research area that we would not have had the resources or expertise to delve into. As a result, we developed several components that greatly improved our system. Our collaboration with our Accelerate intern was a great synergy.”

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization led by Canadian universities that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 15 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • Mitacs’ Accelerate program connects graduate students with industry partners for research internships supervised by faculty. In 2013–2014, Mitacs supported 2,240 Accelerate internships.
  • Open to all disciplines and all industry sectors, projects can span a wide range of areas, including manufacturing, business processes, IT, social sciences, design, and more.


For information about Mitacs and our programs, see mitacs.ca/newsroom.

A few past Accelerate success stories may be found here: