The Government of Nova Scotia: Internships Help Young Nova Scotians Gain Experience, Spur Innovation

Halifax, NS – More university students will get the experience they need to start their careers in Nova Scotia.

Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, joined J.P. Deveau, president and CEO of Acadian Seaplants Limited and a member of the ONE Nova Scotia Coalition, in Cornwallis, Annapolis Co., today, Feb. 6, to announce an additional $440,000 to help create internship opportunities for young Nova Scotians and encourage innovation through research and development.

“Nova Scotia is home to some of the brightest minds and best universities in the world,” said Ms. Regan. “These internships will help more young people get hands-on experience that will benefit our research community and local businesses.”

This investment meets the ONE Nova Scotia Coalition’s recommendation to facilitate research placements with industry.

“This investment fits with our vision to grow the economy and our efforts to keep talented graduates in our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. 

The funding will flow through the Mitacs Accelerate program, a national not-for-profit organization that works with universities, the private sector and governments to build partnerships that support innovation. Nova Scotia’s new investment is in addition to the original $265,000 and brings this year’s total provincial contribution to $705,000. It is funding more than 170 internships over the next three years including 60 in support of research and development at Acadian Seaplants.

“Science, research and innovation are vital to our province’s economic future,” said Mr. Deveau. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that academia and government are committed to work with the private sector to make the most of our competitive advantages.” 

Students will focus on developing a new seaweed-based product to better manage the impact of stressors like temperature on plants so they can grow to their maximum potential. 

Pushp Sheel Shukla is one of the interns working in the Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University’s Agriculture Campus, in Truro.

“This internship gives me the opportunity to work with more experienced researchers in a commercial setting and transfer my skills from theory to the real world,” said. Mr. Shukla. “I’m excited about the possibilities and look forward to seeing how my work will help the company grow.”

The internship program connects small and medium-sized companies with graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to solve research challenges. The paid internships are four months long and can be extended up to two years. 

“Our partnership with Dalhousie University and Acadian Seaplants exemplifies the shared commitment Mitacs and the Government of Nova Scotia have in supporting Canada’s next generation of innovators,” said Mitacs CEO and scientific director Alejandro Adem. “Strong collaboration between businesses and academia will improve performance in learning and training and place the province at the forefront of innovation.”

Every dollar the province invests, leads to four times that amount in private-sector and federal funding. 


Photo: Mitacs intern Pushp Sheel Shukla, Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University.