New partnership between Mitacs and Atlantic Colleges Atlantique to bring enhanced research and innovation support to colleges and businesses in Atlantic Canada

Halifax, NS – Mitacs and Atlantic Colleges Atlantique (ACA) are announcing a new collaboration to boost innovation and research partnerships between businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and college students in the Atlantic region through the recruitment of a new co-funded Business Development Specialist.

Mitacs offers programs and funding that help businesses, not-for-profits, municipalities, and healthcare facilities leverage highly skilled post-secondary talent to find innovative solutions to challenges their organizations face. At the same time, these programs provide opportunities for students and recent graduates to advance their careers through real-world experience and training in their fields.

This co-funded Business Development Specialist will act as a driver for industry-academic collaborations, proactively identifying opportunities for organizations and college researchers to work together, helping them navigate the funding application process, and supporting their projects across the entirety of the innovation continuum – from ideation through to adoption.

ACA represents the seven Atlantic public college institutions, attended by approximately 60,000 full- and part-time students annually, and fosters connections with employers of all sizes throughout the region. Business and government leaders in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are not only recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, but also working to counteract decades-long trends of outmigration, aging populations, skills shortages, and economic stagnation. This new partnership will engage this community of college researchers and innovators to deploy their skills and talent across the workforce and drive continued economic and social growth throughout Atlantic Canada.



John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs

“Mitacs catalyzes collaborative research partnerships that not only help organizations to solve the complex problems they’re facing right now, but also serve to train the next generation of skilled workers and innovators to lead the workforce of the future. By equipping Atlantic Canadian college students with real-world experience, we aim to boost innovation, job creation, and talent retention, strengthening the entire region. We are thankful for our partner, Atlantic Colleges Atlantique, and for the support of the federal and Atlantic provincial governments, for helping us to do this work.”

Sandy MacDonald, Chair, Atlantic Colleges Atlantique and President, Holland College

“Atlantic Canadian Colleges serve to support our students through quality education and training, and to inspire a sense of innovation and entrepreneurship along their journey. By readying them for success in their field, colleges in turn help to fuel the economy of the region. This tremendous opportunity through our partnership with Mitacs will open more doors to important supports, connections, and opportunities for our future innovators and leaders.”

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Collaboration between industry and academia are key to Canada’s success in innovation and research. Partnerships like the co-funded Business Development Specialist between Mitacs and Atlantic Colleges Atlantique provide the support necessary to help transform students across Atlantic Canada into the talented skilled workers and leaders that will help businesses across the economy come roaring back.”

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.