How do Canadian Companies Drive Innovation?

Vancouver, BC – Mitacs Accelerate leads to increased business investments in R&D and innovation in Canada, determined a longitudinal survey released this week.  Mitacs Accelerate pairs graduate students from Canadian universities with businesses for research internships.

Past industry partners overwhelmingly report Mitacs Accelerate met their corporate needs, with a vast majority of projects — 66 percent — resulting in commercialization. In addition, at least a quarter of industry partners indicated that their participation in the Accelerate program led to the creation of new jobs.

Key Impacts

New Product Development

  • 66% of companies indicated that the project results have or will be commercialized
  • 36% of companies had a new or enhanced product developed

Skills and Talent

  • 82% of companies continued collaborations with the academic supervisor involved in the project
  • 47% engaged in new collaborations with the academic sector
  • 30% of companies have hired one or several interns

Business Growth

  • 34% of companies identified new markets
  • 31% of companies saw market segment expansion

Profit Growth

  • 11% of companies saw increased sales
  • 18% of companies saw cost savings

R&D Advancements

  • 74% of companies saw increased value for R&D and innovation
  • 62% of companies continued developing research from the project
  • 37% of companies launched new R&D projects
  • 40% of companies invested $100,000 or more of new money into R&D as a result of their Accelerate experience (including 10% that invested more than $500,000)


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is committed to continually improving our programs so we can deliver the best possible outcomes for the government’s investments. This survey indicates that Accelerate facilitates key business and R&D outcomes through industry-academia collaboration.”

Ted Mao, Vice-President, Research, Trojan Technologies

“By tapping into the expertise of the researchers, we gain valuable in-house skills and knowledge that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Adding academic researchers to our team gives us the critical mass we need to accelerate research, and the same time, our interns get opportunities to solve real-world problems, providing them with the industry experience required to launch successful careers.”

Survey Background:

The Mitacs Accelerate Outcomes: Industry Partner Survey tracked outcomes and deliverables from the Mitacs Accelerate program, and reached out to more than 1,200 past industry partners. Two hundred fifty-three participants took the survey, providing a 19 percent response rate.  Mitacs is committed to developing ways to measure the impacts from its programs for the benefit of the Canadian public.


For information about Mitacs and our programs, see



Mitacs Accelerate Industry Survey Preview