George Brown receives $4.5 million Mitacs award for student research internships

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GBC co-op student staring at a computer screen

George Brown College (GBC) is the first college in Canada to receive a Mitacs Accelerate Umbrella award, valued at $4.5 million. GBC’s Mitacs Internships for Industry Innovation (Mitacs I3) program will enable 300 paid student research internships over two years.  

Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems. For over 20 years, Mitacs has assisted organizations in reaching their goals, funded cutting-edge innovation, and created job opportunities for students and postdocs. The Mitacs 13 will enable George Brown to engage in meaningful and important innovation activities with industry partners, focusing on product development, interactive design and business analytics.

“We’ve seen firsthand that companies that succeed and thrive despite marketplace challenges are the ones who can incorporate new technologies, improve sustainability and embrace new processes. But many lack resources to make these shifts,” says Dr. Krista Holmes, Associate Vice-President of Research & Innovation at GBC. “That’s where George Brown College can help. Over the past 15 years, we’ve tapped into a comprehensive innovation ecosystem that connects hundreds of companies with applied research and innovation solutions.”

Under this Mitacs program, GBC will be able to offer targeted research and innovation support to local industry and community partners, rapidly increasing their capacity across a range of areas, including product design, product and process development, product and operations digitalization, and production scale-up.

“We are pleased to be partnering with George Brown College and to support these ambitious research goals for industry innovation. Over the next two years, we will make important connections between research, community, and local industry,” says John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs. “These new partnerships will work to help organizations adapt to new industry and technological realities and, ultimately, to thrive in the Canadian marketplace.”

Tianxing Wang, a student in the Building Information Modeling Management program, recently participated in a Mitacs-funded project with the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to construct a virtual architectural model of the airport.

“The Mitacs program provides cooperation opportunities with great companies, financial support, and professional guidance,” he says. “Through my Mitacs internship, I learned about the work process, received technical guidance from professionals, accumulated good industry experience, and filled the gap between theory and practice.”

GBC received its first Mitacs award in the fall of 2020. To date, the college has received over $1.7 million in Mitacs funding, enabling 73 student research internships with more projects currently underway. GBC will build on this great foundation, strengthening our relationship with Mitacs and offering even more research and innovation opportunities for students and industry well into the future.