St. John’s Telegram – Research funds announced

A $1.2-million funding arrangement has been announced between the province’s Research and Development Corp. (RDC) and Mitacs to provide graduate-level researchers with new research and development opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The funding for the Mitacs accelerate research internship program enables Memorial University graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to lead research and development projects, connect with local businesses and apply their specialized skills and ideas to real world technical challenges.

The four-month internships will also assist graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in acquiring practical research and business skills, and businesses to access the research talent they need to drive innovation.

“R&D is critical in driving innovation in every sector of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy,” said Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the RDC.

“These R&D internships promote and encourage industry innovation, research excellence and the development of highly-qualified personnel, all of which are essential to supporting economic growth in our province for generations to come.”

Each graduate student or post-doctoral fellow will be provided with a $15,000 research grant, consisting of $7,500 from an industry partner and $7,500 from the Mitacs/RDC partnership.

RDC is contributing $500,000 over a two-year period and Mitacs is investing $720,000.

The funding partnership will support up to 100 collaborative internships, covering a wide range of themes such as energy, ocean technology, manufacturing, information and communication technologies, health and life sciences, minerals and mining, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, and agriculture.

“The benefits of RDC-Mitacs Accelerate internships are twofold,” said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer of RDC.

“Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows get the opportunity to apply their knowledge and expertise to real-world challenges and companies benefit from high quality research, novel solutions and innovative thinking. This partnership will enhance industry R&D capacity and build a highly educated workforce, which is a key driver of business innovation and competitiveness.”

Dr. Arvind Gupta, CEO and scientific director of Mitacs, said as the province’s economy becomes more technology intensive, it needs now, more than ever, to ensure its talented, future innovators are given every opportunity to contribute.

Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research) with Memorial University, said the program will provide MUN students with the chance to translate their ideas and skills from theory into practice.

“Harnessing the enthusiasm, energy and creativity of these highly qualified individuals is an important step in narrowing Canada’s innovation gap and, in turn, strengthening the global competitiveness of its small to medium-sized enterprises,” Loomis said.

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