Canadian Manufacturing

Mitacs commits to funding Indigenous businesses through ‘Indigenous Pathways’ program

Mitacs is working to pair businesses and nonprofits with the right academic talent to achieve an organization's innovation goals.

July 13, 2021  by CM Staff

VANCOUVER — With the ‘Indigenous Pathways’ program, Mitacs is trying to help Indigenous businesses by contributing 75% of the funding required on eligible projects.

Indigenous-owned organizations are looking to innovate in order to grow and achieve their strategic goals. But expanding requires talent, time, and budget. Finding the ideal combination of these three elements can be a challenge. Through the Indigenous Pathways program, an edge can be given to both developing businesses as well as students looking to connect their academic knowledge to real world problems

Mitacs is working to pair businesses and nonprofits with the right academic talent to achieve an organization’s innovation goals. Projects are a minimum of four-months in duration – they can be longer – and right now, the business’ contribution is only 25% of the cost of projects that have an Indigenous partner organization and/or an intern who is Indigenous.

Mitacs is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and creating equitable access to the programs:

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  • On a four-month, $10,000 project the business’ contribution would be $2,500; if the project is bigger and requires more than four-months, the business’ investment remains at 25% of the cost
  • The partner organization must be 50%+ owned by an individual that self-identifies as Indigenous or the selected intern must self-identify as Indigenous
  • Not-for-profit organizations are also eligible if their board of directors is composed of at least 50% self-identified Indigenous people, or if the mandate of the organization is Indigenous focused

Below are two examples of eligible applicants to the call.

Example 1:

MapleWorks Manufacturing is a partnership between Taylor (Self-Identifies as Indigenous) and Carly (Identifies as Asian). Because the business is 50% owned by someone who self-identifies as Indigenous, it makes MapleWorks eligible to apply to the Mitacs Indigenous Call. The company can benefit from bringing in an intern with a minimum 4-month duration at the reduced investment of 25%, leaving 75% covered by Mitacs and it’s sponsors. The intern does not need to be indigenous.

Example 2:

Saige is an Indigenous student currently studying biology in University. A local BioTech company would love to bring Saige in for a paid internship but can not currently take the risk in covering the full-cost. The local BioTech company could apply through Mitacs and only need to cover 25% of the investment.

Interested students, professors, business owners and non-profit leaders are encouraged to view the Mitacs Indigenous Pathways page and reach out through the contact form if they have any questions about eligibility or if they want to move forward with an application.