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Closing Remarks at the 2nd Annual Mitacs Award Reception

November 28, 2012
Ottawa, Ontario

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Award Reception

Corresponding Documents: Photo Gallery (14125)

Check Against Delivery

Good evening, everyone.

Thank you, Mitacs for the invitation. And, congratulations on hosting another great event!

Tonight we have celebrated excellence in research and the work of promising young innovators across Canada. And as I look at the faces of those of you around me – students, mentors, and leaders in innovation - I am reminded of something I once read by Alexander Graham Bell:

"What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it."1

Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and Peter Robertson all had this in common – they were all Canadian innovators who had the will, the determination, and the tenacity to turn the impossible into the possible.

As a country at the forefront of education, scientific advancement and innovation, it brings me great joy to see and hear about the successes Canada has accomplished.

Great discoveries so very often involve the cooperation of many minds, and that is something Mitacs clearly stands by.

Earlier this May, I announced a WD investment for Mitacs to deliver three internship programs: Globalink, Accelerate and Elevate.

Originally launched in 2009, the Globalink program allowed 15 students from India to undertake science-related internships in B.C. Since then, the Globalink program has placed more than 300 students from India, China and Brazil in universities across Canada. That is a remarkable accomplishment!

With our help, the expanded Globalink program continues to recruit international students to work on leading projects for Canadian universities. Key components of the program focus on exposing students to local companies and sectors through site visits, workshops, and industry events – components that have contributed to the success of the students – as I’m sure tonight’s award recipients can attest to.

The creation of the Accelerate and Elevate programs will help match interns to companies that need their expertise to work on new products, technologies, and services.

These types of programs give interns valuable work experience while providing companies a cost effective strategy to solve their technical challenges.

And, over the next two and a half years, these Mitacs programs are expected to deliver more than 900 internships across Western Canada.

Strengthening international linkages and attracting students – like those here today – to Canadian universities for graduate and post-graduate studies, is a priority for our Government.

By recruiting international talent, we are helping to address Canada’s anticipated shortage of science graduates and help keep us on the leading-edge of scientific discovery and commercialization.

Our Government understands that science, technology and innovation are truly the key to helping us build a stronger and more competitive Canadian economy. Because, ladies and gentleman, I can tell you that the top priority for the Harper Government is the economy.

We are committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

By providing our western Canadian industries with the resources they need to stay competitive, we are securing a more prosperous future

We are proud to see the strong level of partnership that has not only helped make this initiative a reality, but will also play a role in ensuring its success over the long term.

On behalf of our Government, congratulations on all of your accomplishments.

Thank you.

[1] Think exist, 2012: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/what_this_power_is_i_cannot_say-all_i_know_is/146843.html