Mitacs internships help create jobs and retain skilled workers in Nova Scotia

Halifax, NS – The Deputy Minister of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Duff Montgomerie joined Mitacs representatives along with researchers, university representatives, and business leaders for a roundtable in Halifax today at Dalhousie University.

Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization that funds research and training, hosted a discussion that examined the importance of connecting Nova Scotia companies with universities for research internships and skills training in order to stimulate the economy, create job growth, and attract and retain skilled workers in the province.

Among the attendees was Hugo Vihvelin, a former Mitacs intern and Dalhousie University graduate who was hired after an internship with Halifax-based Daxsonics Ultrasound. During his internship, Hugo designed smaller and more efficient electronics for use in therapeutic ultrasound, a significant advancement that is enabling the development of next-generation medical devices through a major design contract with a Daxsonics customer. The new technology is expected to be commercially available next year.

Attendees at the roundtable included:

  • Duff Montgomerie, Deputy Minister, Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Government of Nova Scotia
  • Ava Czapalay, Senior Executive Director, Higher Education, Government of Nova Scotia
  • Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research, Dalhousie University
  • Matt Hebb, Assistant Vice-President, Government Relations, Dalhousie University
  • Patricia Rodee, Director, International Research and International Development, Dalhousie University
  • Professor Aaron Newman, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
  • Juan Cruz Baldassarre, CEO, Copernicus Labs
  • Sreejith Gopalakrishnan, Former Mitacs intern, Dalhousie University alumnus
  • Hugo Vihvelin, Former Mitacs intern, Dalhousie University alumnus


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Today’s roundtable showcased the exceptional research taking place in Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions and having significant impacts on Canada. Strong collaboration between businesses and academia will improve performance in learning and training, and place the province at the forefront of innovation.”

Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research, Dalhousie University

“As the region’s largest research university, we are building ecosystems around Dalhousie’s research strengths and inspiring our students to connect through research with various industry partners. Mitacs funding is a very helpful resource for that.”

Juan Cruz Baldassarre, CEO, Copernicus Labs

“As an emerging business, it is key to promptly access highly qualified technical personnel based on the recommendation of Dalhousie professors. Sreejith came to us as a smart and talented intern to help solve a specific research problem. The ability to ‘test drive’ someone with that level of talent was an ideal scenario for a tech start-up like us.”

Hugo Vihvelin, former Mitacs intern; Dalhousie University alumnus; and current Electrical Design Engineer, Daxsonics Ultrasound

“Mitacs Accelerate builds the bridge between academic and industry by giving graduate students a chance to work with more experienced researchers, and provides exposure to research in real world settings. Through my internship I was able to show that my research had direct industry potential which ultimately led to a full-time position with the company.”

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 16 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • Mitacs’ Accelerate program connects graduate students with industry partners for research internships supervised by faculty.
  • 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

Photo caption: Government officials, business leaders, and researchers along with Mitacs and Dalhousie University representatives at the Mitacs roundtable