Saskatchewan Businesses, Students Get Funding Boost for Sustainable Energy Work Internships

Small Business Magazine

In an effort to broaden innovation and employment opportunities in Saskatchewan, national innovation organization Mitacs is partnering with Regina-based Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) Sustainable Energy to give local businesses and university students a boost.

The initiative comes in the wake of news reports of local businesses facing labour shortages — indicating there are more available jobs than there are workers to fill them — and offers the placement of top student talent to help local companies solve business challenges and innovate.

As part of this program, $6.05 million in funding has been announced to develop and retain graduate and post-graduate talent in cleantech and other sustainable energy research at the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan and other universities. PTRC will contribute $2.72 million between 2024 and 2028, which will be matched with an additional $3.33 million by Mitacs.


Projects will cover areas such as geothermal energy, blue hydrogen, CO2 capture and storage, AI-driven integrated power systems, and eco-friendly hydrocarbon production.

The program also serves to sharpen the skills of students — giving them experience they can’t get in the classroom and making them more marketable for future jobs — and promises to both accelerate the growth of local businesses and bolster the province’s innovation record.

Mitacs — which acts as a “matchmaker” between the talent in post-secondary institutions and organizations that need expertise to innovate — has placed tens of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocs, in paid internships in a wide range of industries across the country, with thousands more opportunities available.

“At Mitacs, we know that post-secondary students who have completed a Mitacs internship in Saskatchewan are more likely to stay in Saskatchewan after they graduate and that Mitacs programs help companies across the prairies attract, develop, and retain top talent,” said John Hepburn, CEO of Mitacs, adding that Mitacs programs also support growth in a range of other key Saskatchewan industries, including potash mining, agriculture and the Prairies’ entrepreneurial ecosystem. “We are proud to play a part in this prosperous future for the province.”

The initiative reinforces how local universities are playing a growing role in catalyzing research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the region through collaborations with Mitacs.

Ranjith Narayanasamy, CEO and President of PTRC said that this program will help industry, governments and research providers realize their environmental, social and governance (ESG) needs. “PTRC is committed to supporting clean energy research and development, and showcasing projects that lower emissions and boost subsurface energy production,” he said.


Saskatchewan’s Minister of Advanced Education, the Honourable Gordon Wyant, noted that the province has been a long-term supporter of innovative energy research through both PTRC and Mitacs. “The Government of Saskatchewan values our ongoing partnerships with Mitacs and the PTRC. Their contributions help our post-secondary sector provide important innovation and research opportunities to students, further advancing research in sustainable energy. Saskatchewan is a global leader in developing technologies like carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen, as well as nuclear energy and innovation. Together, we will continue to build a strong, sustainable Saskatchewan.”


Mitacs innovation internships — which are supported by the Saskatchewan government, other provincial governments and the federal government — are paid opportunities for post-secondary students. Businesses contribute only 50% to compensate interns. For more information, visit mitacs.ca.

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