Mitacs helping Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses drive innovation and economic recovery

Mitacs is extending its support to Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through significant cost reductions

Vancouver, BC – Mitacs is announcing today that it is extending its support to Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the second year in a row through significant cost reductions to building innovation partnerships. Qualifying businesses will pay 25 per cent of an innovation project done in collaboration with a post-secondary institution, with Mitacs covering the remaining 75 per cent. This reduction will be available for a limited time to both SMEs and not-for-profit organizations with fewer than 499 employees.

As more and more Canadians get their vaccines, many provinces and territories have begun slowly reopening and the post-COVID-19 economic recovery is on the horizon. Canada’s SMEs will be a critical driver of future innovation and economic growth; however, they have been hit particularly hard by the recent economic downturn. Mitacs recognizes that these businesses will need support to ensure they are well-positioned to help build a more innovative, inclusive, and resilient economy in the years to come.

The research and innovation required to help grow a business requires time, talent, and budget. Mitacs is proud to support Canadian SMEs by providing them with the talent and expertise they need to innovate and grow.

Last year, the organization created more than 1,500 innovation internships as a result of our call to SMEs that were forced to pivot due to the global pandemic, many of which benefitted from significant cost reductions. Mitacs’s hard-working students and post-graduates contributed their knowledge to SMEs and strengthened the innovation ecosystem from coast to coast to coast.

SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy, employing more than 10 million Canadians. Mitacs is proud to continue its support of these critical businesses to help build a bright future for Canada.


John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs

“Mitacs is pleased to announce that it will once again extend the support it offers to SMEs this year through significant cost reductions to businesses that access our programs. Last year, students and post-graduates from across the country helped countless SMEs pivot as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe. As provinces and territories begin to reopen and Canada’s economic recovery begins, SMEs will be critical to driving innovation and economic growth, and Mitacs will be there to support them.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“We are proud to support Mitacs as they partner with post-secondary institutions and innovative companies to create a pipeline of new talent and help young Canadians find good jobs. These partnerships attract investments, and drive innovation across Canada. That’s why, through Budget 2021, our government is investing $708 million to create new innovation internships through Mitacs, ensuring Canada’s innovation sector has a strong economic recovery.”

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“Canada relies on our SMEs for the kind of creativity, agility, and innovation that not only powers our economic growth, but also inspires young talent across the country. With both these groups being among the hardest-hit during the pandemic, Mitacs’s support for these businesses provides the essential talent pipelines, opportunities and hope needed to propel us towards a successful business-led recovery and a vibrant, resilient economy in the years to come.”

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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 along with 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, and the Government of Yukon.