Mitacs launches Inclusive Innovation Action Plan, 2023–26

New plan lays out measurable goals and actions to drive inclusive innovation and catalyze sustainable change over three fiscal years

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs is thrilled to release the Inclusive Innovation Action Plan (IIAP), a three-year framework designed to address innovation gaps and inequities faced by equity-deserving communities within the organization’s ecosystem.

With clear short, intermediate, and long-term goals to cultivate sustainable change, IIAP places emphasis on five priority groups: Indigenous peoples, women and gender diverse individuals, racialized groups, persons living with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ communities. The initiative aims to holistically transform programs, processes, and practices through three streams of actions:

  1. Equitable systems and processes: focuses on Indigenizing and incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) principles across Mitacs’s internal systems, policies, and practices.
  2. Access and support for equity-deserving students: addresses gaps and inequities in Mitacs’s external programming with the goal of increasing access and opportunities for diverse research talent to enter the innovation ecosystem.
  3. Networks and partnerships: looks to integrate Mitacs’s reconciliation and EDI efforts across its network to build inclusive innovation across the entire ecosystem.

The framework was driven by Mitacs’s Strategic Plan 2021, which laid out a foundation for the organization’s commitment to driving inclusive innovation by design. It has a strong focus on Indigenizing Mitacs’s approach to innovation, and on recognizing the complexity of intersectional identities.

Several research methodologies have been carried out for more than one year to inform the development of the IIAP. In addition to a thorough review of practices on EDI and Indigenization in Canada and abroad, the effort included a national EDI survey with Mitacs interns and staff, an audit led by external consultants, and internal and external consultations with key stakeholders.

IIAP is available at Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Mitacs | Mitacs.


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

“Our government knows that a diverse, inclusive, and equitable research community better fosters scientific discoveries. The Mitacs’s Inclusive Innovation Action Plan will greatly benefit our research ecosystems by creating an equitable research community where everyone can participate.”

Angelin Soosaipillai, Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Mitacs

“The inaugural IIAP gives Mitacs a roadmap to address inequities and remove barriers for Indigenous peoples and other equity-deserving members of our community. It brings a systemic approach to our commitment to inclusive innovation, with clear accountability measures and timelines. I’m confident that this initiative will help Mitacs ensure that research and innovation can be done for the good of everyone, by everyone.”

Dr. John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs

“Mitacs recognizes the importance of equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation to solve Canada’s most pressing challenges. One of our key commitments with the Strategic Plan 2021 was to advance EDI and Indigenous reconciliation in all our actions and decisions to build a shared, equitable future, but the complex structures of our ecosystem required a coordinated effort to foster change. With IIAP, we’re bringing concrete steps to propel Mitacs and our partners forward in our journey towards inclusive innovation.”

About Mitacs

Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Mitacs assists organizations in reaching their goals, funds cutting-edge innovation, and creates job opportunities for students and postdocs.

A not-for-profit organization, 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, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.

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