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 December 2008 - Nr. 12


Overview and Key Objectives

The OCE’s "First Job" Internship Initiative is based on experience derived from a fellowship program that, for the past ten years, has supported the transfer of highly-qualified personnel from OCE research initiatives to companies who need their expertise to support technology adoption and growth. We are now opening the doors to opportunities from outside of the OCE family.

Providing new knowledge and capability through the addition of highly-skilled and qualified personnel is an effective method of improving the innovation capacity of Ontario-based enterprises, particularly those companies that are emerging or small-to medium-sized. Research institutions, particularly universities and colleges, are primary sources of new knowledge and capability both in technical and business streams, therefore an initiative that identifies receptor needs and places capable individuals in new positions will help grow technology-based industries, enable the commercialization of new technologies to market and foster linkages between industry and academic institutions.

The development of an Ontario-wide internship program provides a coordinated approach to improve (technology and innovation) receptor capacity by utilizing the existing infrastructure in the province to deliver a clearly defined, flexible program. This will enable the placement of new human resources, in industry, which allows for growth in terms of adoption of technology and the ultimate realization of new revenue.

The program feeds two needs: the short-term need of the industrial partner, to provide the resources to take them to the next level in their growth and the long-term need to place a new generation of graduates, with the appropriate skills, in relevant industrial sectors. Internships in industry can play a strong role in helping to develop the people essential to become the upcoming generation of managers and innovators, thus enabling an increase in technology receptor capacity across the province.


While all companies are eligible, primary consideration will be given to a technically-progressive small/medium-sized company. Ideally – but not necessarily – the applicant should be currently working on, or have recently completed, an OCE-supported project led (or co-led) by their supervisor; similarly, it is preferred that the receptor company be involved with OCE in some way; neither of these considerations are hard criteria. The successful applicant must also assume the internship within five years of completing his/her advanced degree and must be legally entitled to work in Canada. The Intern must either have a Masters or PhD degree at the time of starting the internship.

At the time of an employment offer, applicants are required to be entitled to work in Canada.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the Industrial Internship Application form in cooperation with a Business Development representative from the appropriate OCE Centre. The application must be accompanied by a CV of the applicant and letter of support from the participating company. The company must demonstrate that it has the managerial and financial resources to exploit the technology provided by this internship.

The application should describe company needs and how these needs connect to the applicant’s capability with Ontario universities and explain how they will be expanded, and how the existing and new links will be used to establish linkages that are new to the company. The application must show that the technology evolving from research projects in which the applicant is active will provide the foundation for significant growth in new products, or result in significantly lower production costs (for example). It must also specify the technical resources and needs of the company since the intention is that the Internship will be undertaken in a company that has limited technical resources in relation to its technical needs.

The application must address the following topics:

  • How important is this position and this candidate for the company?
  • Does the company have the wherewithal to take in this candidate, mentor him/her and put him/her to good use?
  • How good is the candidate, in general and specifically for the technology to be developed?
  • How good is the fit between the needs of the company and the expertise of the applicant?
  • What is the technology to be developed/advanced by the applicant within the company and how important is the technology for the company and for Ontario?
  • What are the chances that this position and the development of the technology lead to positive outcomes for both the candidates and the company?
  • What is the involvement of the applicant and/or the company with OCE?

As stated above, the application is to be submitted by the proposed applicant. It must be accompanied by his/her curriculum vitae and must be accompanied by a statement from the company indicating that the application has the company's full support.

All aspects of the application listed above will be taken into consideration when evaluating it.


50% of the salary, up to a maximum of $40,000. For a start-up company, 80% of the salary, up to a maximum of $50,000.

Assessment and Approval Process

The process for approval of submissions includes:

  • A complete assessment from the "First Job" Standing Committee (with representation from the OCE Executive Team, the OCE Commercialization and Talent teams and external referees)
  • An interview of the applicant by an OCE representative
  • An internal review by at least two senior managers
  • A summary recommendation by the OCE primary contact (on application form)
  • A final approval by Talent Champion on the OCE Executive Team

Important note: This program is over-subscribed and the selection of awards is competitive. Not all eligible applications will receive funding.

Review and Assessment

Each project will have one interim review that documents the status and current outcomes of the applicant’s internship.


There are no restrictions for receiving proposals, but the Standing Committee will meet Quarterly to entertain the proposals. The dates of these meetings will be in mid-August, mid-November, mid-February and mid-May. All proposals will be processed and approved as expeditiously as possible, with an expected one-month turnaround after each Standing Committee meeting. However, completed applications will not be brought forward to the Standing Committee until all criteria have been satisfied and OCE assessment indicates that the proposal is ready to proceed through the process.

Key Performance Measures

Impact on industry partner:

  • Direct revenue (or revenue opportunity)
  • Cost Savings
  • New technology developments
  • New products

Development of Intern:

  • New skills and expertise
  • Retention of full-time permanent

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