New funding for college-based research fosters community innovation

Mitacs-NSERC-CCI partnership combines College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) and Mitacs Accelerate

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs is partnering with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through the Tri-Agency College and Community Innovation (CCI) program to expedite applied, research-based solutions. The collaboration leverages the highly qualified personnel — students and/or postdoctoral fellows — of Canada’s colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics interested in developing social innovation.

Canada’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation, NSERC helps organizations of all sizes tap into the talent and technology at Canada’s post-secondary institutions. Their NSERC-CCI College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grant connects community organizations to the unique knowledge and expertise at colleges and polytechnics and trains students in essential professional skills. For the first time, applicants can also include a request for additional support through Mitacs’s Accelerate program for colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics.

CCSIF grants are intended to support college social innovation research projects in partnership with community organizations. Proposals can be multidisciplinary and may fall under the research domains of the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and/or health sciences.

Mitacs requires applications for this program to include a business partner, which can be for-profit, not-for-profit, or a municipality.

Applicants who wish to include Mitacs Accelerate internships in their NSERC-CCI CCSIF application should contact their local Mitacs Business Development representative to obtain the joint application form. Mitacs-NSERC-CCI CCSIF applications require the following information:

  • A well-defined and focused social innovation program
  • A description of the interns’ role in the research project and the quality of the research-based training experience
  • The partner organization’s commitment to providing supervision and mentorship to the interns
  • The number of interns requested as appropriate to the scope of the project

Applicants need to submit the joint application to NSERC with their CCSIF proposal.


John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“We are delighted to partner with NSERC-CCI to expedite the research innovation process that utilizes the talent coming from Canada’s colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. It is through research-based solutions that society will find answers to a plethora of challenges. We are grateful for the funding support from the Government of Canada and partners across the country to enable these solutions.”

Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC

“NSERC is pleased to coordinate with Mitacs to support highly qualified personnel within Canada’s colleges. Our programs, which connect partners with experts in the natural sciences and engineering, will benefit from Mitacs’s knowledge of industry needs and their on-the-ground, business development staff. Together we will deliver important research-based solutions for Canada.”

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.

About NSERC:

  • NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect the makers and users of discoveries. Research partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges. NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.
  • In 2019, the College and Community Innovation program provided $82 million in funding for applied research in Canada.