South Africa’s National Research Foundation formalises partnership with Mitacs

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs is pleased to launch a formal partnership with South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), which will support South African and Canadian doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows at host-country research and industry institutions.

This initiative effectively launches the NRF’s Industry Partnership Strategy which aims to develop highly qualified personnel by fostering collaborative training opportunities with industry, promoting joint research, and encouraging a culture of collaborative networks with industry across the globe.

Through the provision of funding, training, and network opportunities, the partnership will contribute to the recruitment of highly qualified personnel including postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows to carry out joint internships and strengthen international research collaboration between South Africa and Canada.

The program and projects that participants partake in will be jointly funded by the NRF and Mitacs. Both organisations will undertake the evaluation of project proposals and supplementary program adjudication as well as the promotion of the program to eligible universities and research institutions. The program is the first of its kind in South Africa with a combined investment of $1,260,000 CA over three years, with leveraged funding from both Mitacs and the private sector.

The details about the application process for researchers interested in the Mitacs-NRF collaboration will be released in the near future. If you have immediate questions, please reach out to Étienne Pineault, Director, International Business Development, at


Dr. Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, Chief Executive Officer, NRF

“The demand for innovative solutions that respond to socio-economic challenges and opportunities prompted the need for increased collaboration between academia and industry. One of our strategic objectives is to promote globally competitive research and innovation. This partnership will play a fundamental role in securing and leveraging additional resources for higher education institutions and national facilities, advancing technology and innovation transfer.”

Dr. John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“I am delighted to launch this first agreement between Mitacs and the National Research Foundation. We are proud to support the innovation ecosystem by offering a significant opportunity to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows for global mobility between Canada and South Africa. The connections established through this partnership will advance outcomes for both countries, while providing new opportunities for researchers.”

About the NRF:

  • The National Research Foundation (NRF) is an independent statutory body established in accordance with South Africa’s National Research Foundation Act.
  • Its mandate is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation, and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge; supporting and promoting public awareness of, and engagement with, science; and promoting the development and maintenance of the national science system and support of government priorities, thereby contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans.

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.