New joint Mitacs-NSERC-CCI application eases access to funding for college-based R&D

Research innovations can come more quickly thanks to support for college highly qualified personnel

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs is partnering with 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 that leverage the highly qualified personnel (HQP) — students and/or postdoctoral fellows — of Canada’s colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics.

NSERC is Canada’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation, and helps organizations of all sizes tap into the talent and technology at Canada’s post-secondary institutions. For the first time, those applying for the NSERC-CCI Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant, which provides companies access to the unique knowledge and expertise at Canadian colleges and trains students in essential technical skills required by companies, can apply for additional support through Mitacs’s Accelerate for colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics internships as a component of the training of HQP.

This expedited access to funding enables researchers to more rapidly develop answers to today’s challenges ranging from COVID-19 and global pandemics to global warming.

Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions, 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 ARD application should contact their local Mitacs Business Development representative to obtain the joint application form. Mitacs-NSERC-CCI ARD applications require the following information:

  • 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 ARD 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.”

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.
  • 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.


  • 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.