Mitacs Business Strategic Internship​ (BSI) Program: Up to $15K Per Intern for Innovation Projects

To consistently improve business practices, organizations must continuously research and develop new solutions for internal processes that can advance their overall operations. As with most business projects worth chasing, the need for cashflow, knowledge, and workload capacity is of utmost importance. One such Canadian solution has been to bridge the gap between desired industry innovation and professional experience for post-secondary students seeking career experiences. By providing funding for educated interns to take on organizational projects that can lead to business improvements, organizations are awarded with new talent and solutions, while interns gain valuable experiences in their field of study.

The Mitacs Business Strategy Internship (BSI) Program provides organizations in Canada with $10,000 or $15,000 per eligible intern for four-month internship placements to work on the eligible organization’s innovative projects, such as helping to improve products, processes, or services.

Mitacs hopes that successful interns working on eligible BSI projects will lead to positive, innovative improvements for the partner and/or community organizations through the research and development of enhanced business measures related to internal operations.

“We are thrilled to support innovation in industries that develop the talents of students and graduates in Canada. These young people will gain the skills they need to succeed and bring cutting-edge scientific and technical knowledge to expand the innovation capabilities of Canadian industries and strengthen our economy.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Funding Amount

The Mitacs BSI program will offer a grant of $10,000 per intern for eligible innovative projects.

Further program amount details include:

  • Eligible organizations can select a $15,000 funding model where up to $5,000 of the funds can be used for eligible project costs or to top up an intern stipend;
  • Any combination of funding is allowed as long as the minimum intern stipend is $10,000 and the minimum partner organization contribution is $7,500;
  • Projects should be designed as four-month internships, but they can be adjusted to six-month internships to provide flexibility to accommodate the intern’s other responsibilities if need be.

Mitacs is proud to be offering the Business Strategy Internship program for the second year in a row. This program will contribute to fostering innovation in Canadian businesses while helping talented students develop their skills outside of an academic setting.”
– Dr. John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs

Eligible Applicants

Organizations must be one of the following: 

  • A for-profit corporation in Canada;
  • An incorporated not-for-profit (NFP) organization in Canada;
  • A municipality; or
  • A hospital.

Interns must meet all of the following requirements: 

  • Be a registered college, undergraduate, graduate student, or postdoctoral researcher at a Canadian academic institution;
  • Not be a current, active participant in another Mitacs program;
  • Can be from any discipline or faculty;
  • Can be a recent graduate (2 years from graduation date);
  • Part-time students are also eligible for the program if they meet the following criteria:
    • Have student status at the academic institution for the duration of the internship;
    • Be covered under the institution’s insurance, the same as full-time students; and
    • Can commit to the project for the appropriate duration, either four or six months.

Please note: Mitacs BSI interns are not allowed to:

  • Have any position of ownership, employment, or influence over the daily operations at the partner organization; and/or
  • Have any close family relationships or intimate relationships with academic supervisors or employees of the partner organization.

Eligible Mitacs Activities

Eligible projects should focus on innovation, academic collaboration, and gained intern experience, including the following examples:

  • Creating or commercializing Canadian technology / intellectual property;
  • Enhancing Canadian productivity by developing new and improved processes;
  • Contributing new solutions to community challenges in Canada;
  • Interns gaining specialized technical skills through access to and training on the use of specialized equipment and facilities;
  • Creating opportunities for interns to apply their knowledge / skills and solve industry / real-world problems;
  • Re-skilling / up-skilling interns to pursue new and emerging opportunities in Canada;
  • Exchanging knowledge among academia, industry, and communities;
  • Supporting long-term relationships among academia, industry, communities; or
  • Establishing new collaborations among academia, industry, communities.

Apply for the Ongoing Mitacs BSI Program

Mitacs BSI projects aim to bring innovation by promoting collaboration and reducing the risk for companies that engage in innovation, allowing for students to develop professional skills, and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups to foster inclusive innovation.

All application information and further eligibility criteria can be found in the Mitacs Application Portal. Businesses are urged to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest in their project and intern proposal prior to submitting their application.

The Mitacs BSI Program provides support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations while offering work-integrated learning opportunities for students.

To learn more about how your business can utilize grants and loans for research and development projects, like the Strategic Innovation Fund, visit our Research and Development Funding Page.

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