There exists a vast resource of bright young Canadian graduate students and researchers that companies have difficulties tapping into. Internship programs, such as Mitacs – Accelerate, provide a bridge for companies to gain access to these valuable resources to assist in the R&D needs of the company. On top of acquiring a highly educated graduate student or post-doctoral fellow, Mitacs – Accelerate allows companies to gain access to high-quality, peer-reviewed research, increased innovation through researched solutions to challenging problems, and eligibility for SR&ED tax credits. The Mitacs – Accelerate program is a 4-month internship project that will receive $15,000 in direct funding, with the company and Mitacs splitting the cost 50/50. There is little work to be done on the company’s side as both Mitacs and the University will manage all administrative and financial issues. The program provides interns with real world exposure and the ability to apply the latest tools and innovations to business issues.
Recon Instruments, developers of skiing goggles that indicate your speed, position and distance travelled as well as GPS tracking, take full advantage of the Mitacs – Accelerate program. The company has been involved with the Mitacs program since 2008 and has since invested in 8 internships with graduates from UBC. Through the Mitacs – Accelerate initiative, Recon Instruments has been able to expand its innovation and promote growth within the company by hiring one of their initial interns as a full time R&D manager. A recent announcement by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), indicated that the federal govenrment will invest $35 million into the Mitacs program. This investment will help support an additional 1,200 companies and 4,800 Mitacs internships over five years. Goodyear’s objective is to ensure that Canadian companies are receiving the cutting-edge research expertise and skills to compete on the international market, as well as providing graduate students and post doctoral fellows with exposure to the private sector.