Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

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$50.4 million for 2008-16
About   |   News   |   Features

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$27.9 million

Vancouver, British Columbia

CEO and Scientific Director
Alejandro Adem Alejandro Adem

Board chair
Brad Bennett Brad Bennett,
President, McIntosh Properties Ltd.

Providing students with job-ready skills and companies with solutions

The opportunity

Canadian companies of all sizes need cost-effective solutions that can help them become more innovative, productive and competitive. They also need people with advanced research skills who will conceive, develop and market new products and services. At the same time, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows need job-relevant skills and professional connections that will help them compete for high-quality jobs here in Canada. An NCE-supported organization has developed a unique internship model that matches the innovation needs of companies with the academic research expertise at more than 50 universities to conduct collaborative R&D that addresses real-world challenges.

How Mitacs-Accelerate is seizing this opportunity

Mitacs-Accelerate is Canada’s largest internship program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, supporting more than 2,400 internships in 2013–2014. Mitacs-Accelerate supports the main objectives of Canada’s innovation and prosperity agendas: job creation, improved industrial productivity and increased business expenditures in R&D. Its unique cost-sharing model with industry, the federal government and several provinces enables Mitacs to partner with other organizations and funders to offer a unique suite of programs that cut across all sectors and regions of the economy: traditional and emerging; economic and social; and rural and urban.

Among the results

  • Mitacs-Accelerate helps to bring products to market faster, including an early detection test for oral cancer, a screening tool for prostate cancer and an enhanced camera technology for drone aircraft.
  • Interns produced the scientific evidence that enabled BC-based Kisameet Glacial Clay Inc. to prove the medicinal value of its clay prior to going to market.
  • A new computer model is helping the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS prevent the spread of HIV.
  • Interns provided the Tsawwassen First Nation in BC with the socio-economic, education and health data needed to make informed decisions on self-governance.
  • Over 85 percent of Mitacs-Accelerate interns indicated significant improvement in their critical & creative thinking, competence in research development & design, knowledge of the discipline and ability to address private sector problems.
  • Accelerate’s success enabled Mitacs to partner with other funders to launch a suite of complementary programs: Mitacs Elevate, (fellowships for PhD graduates); Mitacs Globalink (two-way international mobility initiatives); and Mitacs Step (professional development and business skills workshops).
  • A partnership between Mitacs and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program has helped 100 small- and medium-sized companies benefit from internships in 2013–2014.

Connect with MITACS-Accelerate


Internships drive Canadian innovation
April 17, 2014
Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows often lack the opportunity to apply their research to real-world business challenges. Having this experience not only makes them more employable, it also helps Canadian companies become more innovative, productive and competitive. Read more
Companies unleash power of mathematics to boost productivity and create jobs
June 26, 2013
Sometimes the greatest successes come from the most unlikely of places. For a handful of Canadian scholars in the 1990s, it was a fervent belief that we were failing as a country to reap the economic and social benefits of one of the most misunderstood and undervalued sciences. Read more