Archived — New Federal Investment to Help Graduates and Students Gain Business Skills

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For immediate release
February, 24, 2012

London, Ontario — Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced today an investment of up to $1,787,500 for the University of Western Ontario Research and Development Park (The Research Park). This contribution will allow current and future graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs gain real-world business skills and experience through internships with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Middlesex and Sarnia-Lambton regions.

"Our government is committed to creating jobs and growth in London and all across southern Ontario," said MP Truppe. "Today's investment will equip STEM students with real-world experience, while providing businesses in our community with technical knowledge and innovative ideas to help them succeed."

This investment is being provided through FedDev Ontario's Graduate Enterprise Internship, which provides funding for not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to arrange internship and mentoring opportunities for recent graduates and graduate students with small and medium-sized enterprises.

"The Research Park and The Stiller Centre are excited to have the opportunity to have a lasting, positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises in the region and to be able to assist STEM graduates who are looking to find entry level employment in their fields." said Lee Smithson, Managing Director of The Stiller Centre for Technology Commercialization. "The partnerships that this program builds will provide companies with the fresh ideas, skills and perspective these recent graduates bring and provide these young people a structured mentoring plan, exposing them to the management and strategies needed to succeed in their business sector."

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant – Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879


Backgrounder

Western University Research and Development Park (The Research Park)

The Research Park is a major initiative of Western University and was established as a not-for-profit organization in 1989 with a mission to assist the university in its academic outreach, research interaction with industry, and technology transfer so as to foster regional economic development.

FedDev Ontario is providing the Research Park with up to $1,787,500 to place 140 current and future graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs in six-month internships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middlesex and Sarnia-Lambton regions over three years.

Thanks to this investment, the host SMEs will benefit from the labour and technical contributions of interns while the STEM graduates will gain valuable business skills which will help them integrate into the workforce by obtaining permanent employment or starting up their own business.

The objective of the project is to build a talent pool to meet the growing workforce demands for a knowledge-based economy in the Middlesex and Sarnia-Lambton regions.

More information on Western University Research and Development Park is available at www.researchpark.ca.

Graduate Enterprise Internship

The Graduate Enterprise Internship will build a pool of highly skilled workers in southern Ontario by providing business and management experience to graduate students and recent graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. The initiative encourages private sector business leaders to pass on their knowledge and business skills to young people pursuing STEM studies in southern Ontario.

The initiative provides funding for eligible not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to arrange internships with structured mentoring opportunities in southern Ontario small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for graduate students and recent graduates of STEM programs. Only organizations with established track records and currently delivering internship placements for STEM students or graduates are eligible.

Eligible applicants may receive a non-repayable contribution towards an intern's salary of up to $15,000 per six-month internship for a graduate student or recent graduate of a master's or doctoral-level STEM program and up to $10,000 for a recent graduate of an undergraduate STEM program or a college program at the advanced diploma level, as well as delivery costs to manage the internships. The host SME must contribute a minimum of 50 per cent of the intern's salary and benefits.

Contributions under the Graduate Enterprise Internship are not expected to exceed $5 million per applicant.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. All project activities must be completed prior to March 31, 2014.

For more information, please refer to the Initiative Guidelines available on the website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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