What is the secret to meaningful innovation?

Not all innovations are born equal.

Some are modest upgrades to existing ideas and technology, while others disrupt entire industries and alter the course of history.

Take ChatGPT.

The trending AI marvel seemed to emerge overnight, reaching 100 million users just two months after launch. But like most innovative technologies, it took years of collaborative research to turn the stuff of science fiction into mind-melting reality and potentially revolutionize the way we interact with machines.

So, what can you do to lead meaningful innovation in your industry?

According to a report, companies that form collaborative alliances and integrate creativity, analytics, and purpose experience twice the growth of their competitors, even in the most turbulent times — regardless of industry, sector, or geographical region. Yet only 7% of businesses and enterprises put this in practice.

Mitacs is spotlighting four breakthrough innovations resulting from powerful collaboration between industry and academia. These interdisciplinary teams are combining lived experience with data and intentionality to set a benchmark in meaningful innovation.

Let’s dive into their incredible stories and learn from their success!

1. This team is using non-traditional methods to drive social change.

Art and culture are a catalyst for social change. But how do you measure their impact using traditional methods? A team of researchers from Emily Carr University is addressing this challenge by looking at how programming centred around Indigenous cultural knowledge generates access, community, and connection.

2. This team is propelling a new era of quantum innovation.

Canada sits on the edge of a quantum revolution — thanks to an ambitious national strategy and a wealth of research talent. As we inch closer to a quantum-powered future, Mitacs is deploying top academic experts into the quantum industry, creating an ecosystem where quantum innovation can thrive.

3. This team is creating access and visibility for persons with disabilities.

Over 6 million Canadians live with some form of disability. Yet most companies lack the hiring and retention strategies needed to unleash their true potential. A Saskatchewan-based researcher is changing the status quo by developing social entrepreneurship training programs for persons with disabilities — and setting a benchmark in inclusive innovation across Canada and the world.

4. This team is building a greener world for future generations.

Canada has ranked 2nd on the 2023 Global Cleantech Innovation Index — thanks in part to the country’s clean energy sector which is expected to grow by 16% annually and reach $46 billion by 2025. To meet these targets, Mitacs is helping cleantech companies experiment, commercialize, and succeed, by turning to Canada’s greatest resource: a diverse talent pool.

Two minds can spark a conversation, but four can spark a revolution.

These projects are evidence that innovation is rarely the result of a single individual or organization, but rather a collaborative effort that draws on the strengths of multiple people with unique perspectives — from academic researchers, engineers, and social scientists to industry experts, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.

As the innovation ecosystem grows and evolves, so does our potential to discover new ideas and knowledge — and our capacity to develop better solutions.

If you’re looking for out-of-the-box thinkers for your innovation needs, grow your network and collaborate with exceptional research talent that can help you turn lofty ideas into achievable goals.

Mitacs Team

Mitacs’s website content is created by people throughout our organization, united in their passion for innovation and eager to share their perspectives with others in the innovation ecosystem. 

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for over 20 years. Working with over 100 post-secondary institutions, more than 6,000 companies and not-for-profit organzations, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.

Mitacs Team
Mitacs Team

Mitacs’s website content is created by people throughout our organization, united in their passion for innovation and eager to share their perspectives with others in the innovation ecosystem.