Boomerang-o-vation

A prestigious innovation talent development program

A prestigious innovation talent development program providing a select group of college and university graduates from the Atlantic provinces the unique opportunity to develop innovation skills through paid externships at Tech-Access Canada’s Technology Access Centres (TAC) across Canada, followed by paid internships at Atlantic SMEs.

A boomerang has both a leading edge and a trailing edge. When the boomerang is thrown with high spin, it flies in a curved rather than a straight line. When thrown correctly, a boomerang returns to its starting point.

What is a Technology Access Centre (TAC)?

TACs are nationally recognized applied R&D centres operating exclusively at selected colleges and cégeps. TACs work with 5,000 companies each year and support them through:

  • conducting applied research and development projects focused on company problems;
  • offering specialized technical services and objective advice; and
  • providing training related to new types of equipment and processes.

While there are 64 TACs across Canada specialized in all industrial sectors, we are seeking qualified candidates with backgrounds and experience in three broad categories:

  1. Engineering/Engineering Tech (mechanical, electrical, software, AI & machine learning, IoT programing and integration, sensors, robotics, etc.)
  2. Science and Research (agronomy, biotechnology, environmental sciences, etc.)
  3. Trades (manufacturing, fabrication and design, culinary work and research, forest technologies, etc.)
Work with Canada’s Innovation All-Stars

10 recent graduates

from publicly-supported colleges and universities in the Atlantic

6–12-month paid externship at a TAC

approx 20 different real-world projects

Leading Edge – Paid Externship at a TAC

We are looking for 10 recent graduates from publicly-supported colleges and universities in the Atlantic region to be selected to complete a 6–12-month paid externship at a TAC as a Research Assistant or Research Associate acquiring innovation skills and participating in multiple applied research projects with SMEs from the TAC’s region.

Unlike other paid internship programs, you will not be expected to lead the R&D projects and push your innovations to market, register IP, or write papers. You will enjoy a supporting role as part of the multi-disciplinary TAC team where you will contribute your unique expertise to approximately 20 different real-world projects and acquire new innovation skills under the mentorship and guidance of the core TAC researchers.

You will be exposed to the application of emerging technologies to solve the real world business innovation challenges faced by small companies the TACs work with every day. You will gain a deeper understanding of innovation challenges and develop a problem-solving mindset in the key focus areas of engineering and engineering tech, science and research, and/or the trades. You’ll leave the paid externship as a bonafide TAC-endorsed applied researcher.

Leading Edge – Paid Externship at a TAC

We are looking for 10 recent graduates from publicly-supported colleges and universities in the Atlantic region to be selected to complete a 6–12-month paid externship at a TAC as a Research Assistant or Research Associate acquiring innovation skills and participating in multiple applied research projects with SMEs from the TAC’s region.

Unlike other paid internship programs, you will not be expected to lead the R&D projects and push your innovations to market, register IP, or write papers. You will enjoy a supporting role as part of the multi-disciplinary TAC team where you will contribute your unique expertise to approximately 20 different real-world projects and acquire new innovation skills under the mentorship and guidance of the core TAC researchers.

You will be exposed to the application of emerging technologies to solve the real world business innovation challenges faced by small companies the TACs work with every day. You will gain a deeper understanding of innovation challenges and develop a problem-solving mindset in the key focus areas of engineering and engineering tech, science and research, and/or the trades. You’ll leave the paid externship as a bonafide TAC-endorsed applied researcher.

10 recent graduates

from publicly-supported colleges and universities in the Atlantic

6–12-month paid externship at a TAC

approx 20 different real-world projects

Trailing Edge – Paid Internship at an Atlantic Region Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME)

After your tenure with the TAC, you’ll return to your home region where you will spend an additional 6-12 months at a host company to transfer the innovation expertise acquired in the previous paid internship to make the SME more innovative and productive.

During the paid externship, Tech-Access Canada will tap into its network to find willing host SMEs in the Atlantic to ensure a soft landing for the paid internship portion of the program. As a participant, you will interview with multiple potential hosts and select the company that is the best fit for them.

At the SMEs, you will help support company-focused innovation challenges, lead technology adoption and R&D activities, and help increase competitiveness of the participating companies. Your role is to be knowledge transfer on two feet.

6-12 months at a host company

interview with multiple potential hosts

support company-focused innovation challenges

What it looks like

A recent university graduate in Electrical Engineering Technology from New Brunswick Community College may apply for, and be offered a placement as a Research Assistant at the Green Building Technology Access Centre in Calgary for six months. Over the six months, as a Research Assistant, they would be part of the in-house R&D team working on projects with companies needing assistance with photovoltaics, sensors, systems, solar water heaters, etc. Upon completion, they would then return home to the Maritimes and work with a small residential construction company for nine months, helping them integrate value added (higher margin) green construction technologies into the company’s offerings.

Why should I participate?

This is an elite innovation paid internship program. The TACs are the best of the best in college applied research, working with 5,000 companies each year. They have professional R&D teams with multi-disciplinary talent.

The select few that are fortunate enough to be selected will develop in-demand innovation and problem-solving skills, gain valuable hand-on work experience in two different environments, and grow their professional network.

How can I apply?

You must have graduated (or will do so by the start of the paid externship) from publicly-supported colleges and universities in the Atlantic within the last two years.

To participate, you must agree to the terms and conditions of the program including:

  • Committing to complete both the paid externship at a TAC and a paid internship at a SME in the Atlantic region.
  • You must have completed your studies at one of the participating Atlantic region colleges or universities within the last two years.
  • You must be 45 years of age or younger as of the application deadline.

To apply, please complete the application form and submit the form along with an up-to-date resume (maximum 3 pages) to boomerangovation@tech-access.ca.

Program Benefits

  • Become a member of an elite, merit-based cohort.
  • Lifelong access to the Tech-Access Canada network and its members.
  • A unique experiential learning model with a team-based, mentorship approach.
  • Making a difference in increasing the innovation outcomes of your home region.
  • Imports cutting edge innovation skills and expertise from the rest of Canada for the benefit of regional firms with no history of investing in innovation.
  • Increases innovation and technology adoption in region, especially in analog industries and firms, especially those with succession planning challenges.
  • Accessible to all firms in the region with receptor capacity, regardless of size, sector, revenue, especially those who would not traditionally qualify for other business support programs.
  • Acquiring the innovation skills needed to be both intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial, giving you a competitive advantage in the job market.
  • Possibility of starting your own business to seize a market opportunity in your home region.
  • Creates new, attractive, high-paying, innovative jobs in the region to retain and attract talent, fighting demographic challenges and exodus of PSE graduates to large urban centres.
  • Regional economic development that is both company-agnostic and talent-agnostic, as well as scalable and replicable.
  • Knowledge transfer (in the most literal sense) from the national network Canada’s leading innovation intermediaries without the need for overlap, duplication, replication, and sub-optimal outcomes.

Selection Criteria

Candidates are assessed on the basis of the following criteria. The criteria should be clearly addressed by the applicants. Candidates’ experiences should reflect these competencies.

  • Maturity (self awareness/respect for others)
  • Motivation
  • Research and writing abilities
  • Academic achievement and/or potential
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork (ability to work with others)
  • Organizational skills
  • Language skills

Eligibility & Information to Provide

 The Boomerang-o-vation program is open to all candidates who, at the start date of the program (June 1, 2023):

  • Hold Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • Hold at least one credential from an Atlantic college or university.
  • Are available to work full-time from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2025.

Eligible candidates must apply using the application form. Documents submitted in hard copy or in any other form will not be accepted. All applications are strictly private and confidential.

Candidates must provide the following information:

  • Contact details
  • Education, grants and scholarships
  • Employment experience
  • Extracurricular and volunteer activities

Questionnaire (Answers to Submit)

You will also be asked to submit answers to the following questions to support your application:

  1. Describe the relevant innovation skills and expertise you have acquired through your education, work, volunteer, or personal experience in no more than 500 words
  2. Please provide a statement of no more than 500 words on why you would be a great fit for a Technology Access Centre team. Please include details on your personal approach to teamwork
  3. Please explain in no more than 500 words what you are hoping to get out of your time as a Research Assistant at a TAC

Selection Process

Candidates are selected by a committee composed of the representatives of the Board of Tech-Access Canada.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, until the program is full. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their application is complete.

Information for SMEs

If you are a SME located in the Atlantic Region and are interested in hosting a Boomerang-o-vation intern, please see the Information for SMEs page for more information.

This program is generously supported by the Government of Canada.

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