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Mitacs i2I Skills Training

Invention to Innovation (i2I) is a unique and rewarding experiential curriculum that will help you change your mindset. The program helps scientists and engineers understand how to take their ideas from lab to market. Simultaneously, the pedagogy and format of the i2I program are designed to shape your science innovation. This transformational program opens up new career pathways. You will be equipped with the theory, frameworks and skills to commercialize your inventions, become an innovation champion in industry or increase knowledge mobilization through translational science.

Now delivered across Canada, the Mitacs i2I Skills Training is highly accessible with a virtual format that allows you the flexibility to participate online with the opportunity to build a meaningful network with like-minded innovators. It has a synchronous opening, mid-point and closing session, regular short check-in sessions, in-depth course concepts, assignments and feedback delivered asynchronously online.

Contact us to explore collaboration opportunities by emailing

The Mitacs i2I Skills Training was developed to open new pathways to impact for science and engineering graduate students, Masters, PhD’s & post-docs who are lab-focused, and who currently have an articulated innovation idea in-progress. Faculty members and participants from industry who have engaged in this program have also experienced a transformational impact in their labs, careers, and research trajectory.

Participants generally come from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Bio-medical Engineering, Material Science, Electrical Engineering, Nano-tech, Quantum, Mechatronics, Medicine, Pharma, etc.

To qualify for a Mitacs-funded seat, you must be a Current Program Participant, Alumni, or in the process of applying for the Mitacs Elevate or Mitacs Accelerate programs.

If you are not affiliated with Mitacs, we encourage you to apply. The Program Coordinator will contact you if your application is eligible for admission and other funding opportunities.

All applications must include:

  • Current Graduate students or alums of an advanced technical STEM degree program with a minimum degree level of a Masters (or those currently enrolled in a Masters degree program)
  • A positive letter of reference from a current or past supervisor or professional colleague
  • CV or resume
  • An Innovation Statement, which includes a potential innovation idea to develop, a brief description of experience in research and development, motivation for joining the skills training and future goals
  • If you are currently in a Mitacs program, please include a written acknowledgement that your industry partner is aware you are applying

Over an 8-month period, from mid-September 2022 to April 2023, participants will engage in four asynchronous online topics. While all topics are facilitated by i2I Faculty (Lab to Market, Opportunity Identification & Assessment, Business Models, and Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs), the final two topics also utilize a peer-learning environment whereby participants work in sector-specific learning groups with mentorship from successful scientist innovators.

In addition, there will be three synchronous sessions: an opening, mid-point and closing, as well as regular 1-hour check-ins with instructors and mentors. Please hold the following synchronous session dates in your calendars:

  • Opening Session: Friday, September 16th
  • Mid-Point Session: Friday, January 13th
  • Closing Session: Friday, April 28th

Please hold the following dates for 1-hour sessions in your calendars:

  • Lab to Market: Monday, October 3rd & Wednesday, October 19th*
  • Opportunity Identification and Assessment: Monday, November 14th & Monday, December 5th
  • Business Models: Monday, February 6th & Monday, February 27th
  • Financial Literacy: Monday, March 5th & Monday, April 16th
*October 19th session duration is 2-hours

Schedule subject to changes

The Skills Training concludes with a live Final Pitch Event, where 5 chosen finalists will pitch their ventures to a public audience and panel of judges, and receive expert feedback.

After successfully completing the Mitacs i2I Skills Training Program, participants have the opportunity to earn university credit by laddering into a graduate program at SFU Beedie School of Business. This additional 4-month, part-time cohort program includes synchronous classes held online at the Beedie School of Business, Segal Graduate School. Students who successfully complete the program will graduate from SFU Beedie with a Graduate Certificate in Science & Technology Commercialization.

The i2I program is perfect for people like me who are deeply involved in science, and who want to look for opportunities in the business world. A program like this opens your mind and teaches you that there is another world of possibilities outside of the lab.

Elena Groppa, i2I

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine

University of British Columbia Biomedical Research Centre

The ability to communicate with investors, and with partners who don’t have a background in science, is critical to bringing a technology from the lab to market. The i2I program helped me see my work through a business lens. I not only learned to communicate but how to value technologies appropriately and to identify market opportunities and their associated risks and uncertainties.

Finlay MacNab, i2I

PHD candidate in the Department of Chemistry

Simon Fraser University

i2I: Elena

i2I: Finlay