If you’re looking for a straightforward explanation of how Mitacs Canada can help your business, you’re in luck!

Because in this complete guide we cover five of the best Mitacs funding programs, including Mitacs grants and more…  

We start with some background info on the organization, then jump into the five programs.

What Does Mitacs Stand For?


Mitacs was formerly called Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems. Now you know why it goes by its acronym!

What is Mitacs?


A Canadian network of Centres of Excellence created in 1999 to initially support applied and industrial research in mathematical sciences, Mitacs later expanded to respond to industrial and university needs, including programs in research and development management, professional skills development, and international research training. They even have a research internship program designed to increase the number of highly educated graduates.


Because of their partnerships with industry, academia, and government, they’re able to fund your research projects, accelerate your business, and train students and postdoctoral graduates in the career skills they can then bring to their partner business.


Now they’ve refined their system to offer 5 tailored programs to help businesses, nonprofits, students, and graduates find rapid success with their collaborations and projects: Accelerate, Elevate, Globalink, Policy Fellowship, and Entrepreneur International. Keep reading to determine if one of these are just what you’ve been looking for.


Quick-start your research project with the Accelerator program. It works to bring together academic researchers and private organizations to create a beneficial research project and bring it to life. When you take part, you’ll get Mitacs expert support, matched funding, and academic expertise.


Here’s how it works. Your company partners with a student, graduate, or professor researcher to build a research project in any sector or discipline. Once you’ve cemented the partnership and the project, then you put together a solid proposal and submit it to Mitacs.


Before you get started though, be ready to contribute $7,500 to Mitacs as your share of the partnership. Once you’ve done that, created a partnership, built a project, and submitted that project to a Mitacs representative though, they’ll add $15,000 to the project pot once your project and partnership is accepted.


For-profits and nonprofits both qualify to take part in the program, but nonprofits must operate and be located in Canada. For-profits can be located anywhere.


Research internships are expected to last between 4 and 6 months, though you can extend that if you need to. You can also bring more interns on board and have more than one project on the go. The benefit of multiple projects is that if you have 6 or more Mitacs projects that each have 3 or more interns involved, then your expected contribution is reduced to $6,000 per internship rather than the usual $7,500/internship. On the other hand, the matching funding you receive also goes down to $13,300 instead of $15,000.


Of course, there’s always the usual administration tasks expected of you when you take part, such as supervising the onsite research, signing the final report, and submitting a final survey describing your project results and experiences.


You can apply anytime by contacting the Mitacs representative in your area to realize such benefits as identifying new markets, commercializing your results, and finding potential new employees. Check out the FAQs for answers to your questions or for more details.


And here’s a little-known added benefit to participating in the program. Because this program is research based, that qualifies you to take advantage of federal tax benefits for conducting research and development in Canada. These incentives come in three forms: an income tax deduction, an investment tax credit, and, sometimes, a refund.


Help your business grow even faster with this longer, more in-depth program that partners you with a highly trained research fellow. Your researcher will work closely with you to develop a business case to submit to Mitacs. This internship is expected to last at least a year, though most last for 2 years.


This program is a dollar-for-dollar funding program, so you have to contribute $30,000, and Mitacs will contribute $30,000 once your proposal is accepted. Proposals for this program are only accepted a few times a year though, and the call for proposals is closed at this moment but keep checking back to find out when they reopen.


The eligibility criteria for this program are a little more inclusive. For- and nonprofits both still qualify, as do Crown corporations with no more than 50% government funding, but the project itself must have an economic or productivity outcome that results in creating new jobs, reducing the cost of goods or services, or increasing productivity in a process or industry.


You’ll also have to be a Canadian company or a Canadian-located foreign company, have an office or base for the fellow to work with you at least 50% of the time, and be the end user of the resulting research.


Now while the fellow will do the work of building the business case, you, as the partner organization, must contact Mitacs before submitting the business case and applying for the program to ensure you do, in fact, qualify.


Creating the proposal and submitting it is the responsibility of the fellow (other than your letter of support for the project), but if you have questions, you can email them to the program, or you can take a look at the FAQs to see if you can find the answer to your question there.


Now you can stay on top of current global trends in your industry and gain access to the knowledge of international researchers with this program that sees you contributing at least $7,500 and Mitacs matching those funds.


As a partner organization, you can work with interns from France, Israel, Mexico, and Norway. Your project should last between 16 and 24 weeks and result in significant benefit to Canada in one of the following ways:

  • training Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • bringing talent to Canada
  • creating new research relationships
  • growing research activities in Canada
  • foreign investment in Canada
  • creating IP held in Canada (joint or full ownership by Canadian organizations, allowance for Canadian industry to commercially exploit the IP)
  • creating markets for existing Canadian IP

Again, it’s the interns responsibility to apply for the program, put together the proposal, and gather all the required documents, so all you have to do is get in touch with a Mitacs representative if this is a program of interest to your business.


This program is aimed at solving Canada’s public policy challenges by utilizing their proven researcher-partner organization model. You, as a partner organization, will partner with a PhD fellow in any discipline for 12 months as they work with a government department.


This program opens calls for proposals for host organizations only once a year, and while the latest call has closed, check back often to be among the first to know when it reopens.


Start-ups, this one’s for you. If you’re housed in a university-linked incubator and want to connect to business development opportunities in the global market, apply now because applications are now open.


To do so, just download, complete, and submit the application form to the program, along with your travel budget, a signed letter of support from an eligible Canadian university-linked incubator or accelerator, and a signed letter of acknowledgement from an international host incubator. Make sure you get your international host incubator preapproved before you begin though.


Your time abroad should last between 2 and 6 weeks, and while Mitacs will contribute up to $5,000 for your travel costs, you are expected to contribute half of the costs yourself.

Ensure you get your completed application in no less than 4 weeks before you plan to travel. Eligible international host incubators can be located in any of these countries:

Argentina

Hong Kong

Morocco

Australia

India

New Zealand

Brazil

Israel

Norway

Chile

Japan

Singapore

China

Korea

South Africa

Colombia

Macao

Switzerland

European Union

Malaysia

Taiwan

Ukraine

Mexico

Tunisia

Cell

United States

United Kingdom

For answers to your questions before you apply, read through the FAQs or send an email to the program.

Wrapping Up

Mitacs is where you want to be to put your business on the cutting edge of research in your industry and to connect with global markets. What better way is there to exponentially grow your business, whether you’re already a large industry leader or a brand-new start-up?


With 25 offices across Canada and current partnerships with 70 universities, 6,000 companies, and both the provincial and federal governments, Mitacs is a leading Network of Centres of Excellence you can both utilize and count on to support your growth, research development, and international connections.


They even offer additional training for graduates and postdoctoral fellows so they can bring supplementary skills to your partnership. So if you think your business is right for a Mitacs partnership, just get in touch with the Mitacs office closest to you.


About the author 

Maurice

Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.

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