Mitacs and IMII partnership building highly qualified people for Saskatchewan’s minerals industry

Saskatoon, SK – Two years ago Mitacs and International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) announced a partnership to fund student internships to advance research and development into innovations in Saskatchewan’s minerals industry.

The two organizations agreed to support Saskatchewan’s major minerals companies by leveraging funding, connections, and academic research expertise. The partnership has helped to advance innovations that matter to mining by bringing together research collaborations between industry and academia, while also assisting in the development and recruitment of highly qualified technical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.

The potential value of initiatives under the partnership began with a $1.2 million investment. Mitacs will contribute up to $660,000 over five years and IMII a further $540,000 with a target of creating the equivalent of 30 year-long internships. To date:

  • Four projects have been approved under the terms of the partnership with a total investment of $828,100.
  • The projects have been sponsored by Cameco, Mosaic and Nutrien and backed the equivalent of 22 year-long internships.
  • Participating academic institutions have been Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the University of Saskatchewan, and Western University.

The partnership is being implemented based on “request for researchers” issued by IMII and facilitated by Mitacs’s connections with colleges and universities in Saskatchewan and across Canada.


John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is thrilled by the success of the partnership with IMII and its ability to support innovation important to Saskatchewan’s minerals industry. Advancing research within this valuable sector with a cohort of interns is bringing tremendous benefits to Saskatchewan’s economy and the minerals industry across the country.” 

Al Shpyth, Executive Director, IMII

“This partnership is enjoying success because of willing industry and academic partners within Saskatchewan and Mitacs connections with colleges and universities across Canada. Research internships provide valuable opportunities to both the minerals companies hosting the interns and the students engaging in the applied research to have a problem solved and find a potential employee.”

Mitacs quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. 
  • 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.
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan, along with every other province, industry and not-for-profit partners, and academic partners.

IMII quick facts:

  • IMII is a non-profit organization jointly funded by industry and government and is committed to developing and implementing innovative education, training, research and development partnerships for supporting a world-class minerals industry.
  • IMII’s unique collaboration model facilitates a research focus to meet the industry needs, present and future, for many areas including safety and environment. This collaboration also helps to define the current and future needs in the education and training programming, including a focus on Indigenous peoples and women in mining.


For more information about Mitacs and its programs, see

For more information about IMII and its initiatives, see