Federal government invests $40M in Mitacs to create 5,000 new internships

Ottawa, ON — Today the Government of Canada announced a $40 million investment in the future of Canadian innovation that will support students through Mitacs internships. The funding will provide 5,000 new internship opportunities for college and university students across Canada.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitacs — in partnership with the Government of Canada and provinces across the country — has launched several new initiatives to help students gain employment throughout the summer, while continuing to drive innovation and economic development. The infusion of workforce talent these internships provide for Canada’s small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), coupled with the opportunity for work-integrated learning for our nation’s student population, result in essential tools to effectively battle COVID-19, and mitigate its economic aftermath.

The new funding enables Mitacs to expand its internships for the first time to serve students at the undergraduate level and in professional programs — such as medicine, law, and business — as well as students conducting innovation internships beyond research. It also allows Mitacs to partner with organizations such as hospitals, foundations, and municipal governments.

As a result of this new funding Mitacs now offers:

  • An extension of the temporary discounted rate for SME projects. Additional funding supports are available within specific regions and sectors thanks to partnerships with Innovate BC, ENCQOR, AGE-WELL, and others.
  • Business Strategy Internships that connect undergraduate and MBA students with SMEs to address COVID-19 challenges. This will soon be expanded to students in other academic disciplines as well as college students.
  • Direct partnerships with municipalities to address critical issues such as public health, cybersecurity, climate change, and economic development.

The $40 million in funds are a result of the Government of Canada announcement of $9 billion to support post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic made in April, 2020. The Government of Canada investment is for the 2020–21 fiscal year.


The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Work-integrated learning helps prepare Canadian students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our investment for Mitacs’s work placements will give students the skills they need to support Canadian businesses as they re-open while ensuring Canada’s economy continues to thrive.”

Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto

“Throughout our long-standing partnership, the University of Toronto has relied on Mitacs to provide research internships for our graduate students, which have enabled our researchers to make life-changing advancements for Canadians. We are pleased to see these opportunities expand to support more students across Canada.”

Vince DiCristofaro, CEO, AVL Manufacturing

“When our intern had a brilliant idea to pivot our energy units to mobile medical units, we turned to Mitacs for help. Since COVID-19 began, we have been working closely with Mitacs to pivot and plans are underway to enlist additional internships into our research and development program. We’re fortunate to have a partner that supports our vision of innovative engineering and can help us help Canadians.”

John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is proud to be trusted by the Government of Canada and the provinces across the country to steward funds in support of student opportunities. This investment means we can expand our offerings to serve more students in a greater variety of opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for students and businesses, and our collective future. We are honoured to serve as the connector between our present situation and our future success.”


For Mitacs news, including the following COVID-19-related releases, please visit https://www.mitacs.ca/en/newsroom/news-release.

  • Mitacs, USask, and U of R to support Indigenous and northern communities with new digital technologies in fight against COVID-19
  • 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

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.
  • 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, and the Government of Saskatchewan.