Ottawa, ON – The federal government has awarded $8.6 M to Accelerate Canada to run a new national industrial research and development internship (IRDI) program. Over the next two years, the funding will help place 1,200 Canadian graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with businesses all over the country. The interns will undertake research that meets the innovation needs of the host firms.
The internships will consist of collaborative research projects involving graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, their supervising professors and industry partners.
Companies will share the cost of hosting the internships with the IRDI program. Funding will also come from provincial, university and other partners. The program targets all academic disciplines including the physical, biological and mathematical sciences, engineering, health sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences and business.
The IRDI competition and program are administered by the secretariat of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, an initiative of the three federal granting agencies – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – in partnership with Industry Canada.
The competition was launched in December 2007. Groups interested in managing the program had until February 15, 2008 to apply. Accelerate Canada was chosen through the independent peer review process based on the excellence of its proposal.
Accelerate Canada is a national consortium that includes 13 Networks of Centres of Excellence. The lead organization is Mitacs (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems), a NCE for the mathematical sciences.
“The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government’s vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada,” said Dr Suzanne Fortier, chair of the NCE steering committee and president of NSERC. “The networks have a long track record of attracting, training and producing highly qualified personnel. We are eager to see the first group of interns placed with their host companies, and look forward to hearing about their successes.”