Mitacs Accelerate stimulating research and development in small businesses

A Quebec company plans to commercialize a unique hearing protection device developed by its intern

Sonomax Technologies Inc. is a Montreal-based business that specializes in manufacturing hearing protection products. The company developed a unique type of high-performance, custom earphones that provide noise isolation with hearing protection. This allows users to listen to their portable music player at a lower volume adjust to compensate for noise in their surroundings. But before introducing this new product to the market, the company needed to go through the prototyping stage.   

Sonomax connected with Kuba Mazur, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering at École de téchnologie supérieure (ETS) through Rebecca Reich, Business Development Director at Mitacs. Under the supervision of Professor Jérémie Voix from the department of Mechanical Engineering, Kuba undertook research that focused on creating a prototype utilizing the new custom-fitted earphones. “I developed the Auditory Research Platform to measure sound pressure levels throughout the day, inside the earphones and determine the safe amount of time one can be in a noisy environment, or listen to their music player without damaging their hearing,” says Kuba.

For Michael Turcot, vice president of Research and Development at Sonomax, Mitacs Accelerate sped up the prototyping process considerably. “Kuba’s research expertise coupled with the Mitacs funding enabled us to transform the design concept of our product into a refined, working prototype that we can present to potential clients.”

Unlike other products on the market, Sonomax’s new prototype is not only designed to fit in each individual’s distinctive “earprint”, but it also has dual microphones that monitor the sound pressure levels throughout the day.

Following Kuba’s internship, Sonomax patented its new, high-performance, custom-fitted earphones and plans to commercialize this innovative product in the near future.

Mr. Turcot highly recommends Mitacs Accelerate to all small businesses that are looking to undertake research and development. “Thanks to this program, our company has seen long-term benefits of this product much earlier than expected”. 

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities:


Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems. By driving economic growth and productivity, we create meaningful change to improve quality of life for all Canadians.