The Ontario Brain Institute and Pfizer Canada Launch a Joint Award for Industry-Based Internships

The OBI-Pfizer Canada partnership will support six-month internship positions at qualified neurotech startups in Ontario

TORONTO, June 20, 2019 - The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) and Pfizer Canada are partnering to increase capacity for start-up based internships aimed at supporting Ontario’s neurotech cluster. This new partnership will support the placement of recent neuroscience graduates in Ontario-based neurotech startups to gain unmatched experiential training as they launch their careers in industry.

The new OBI-Pfizer Canada partnership will dedicate a total of $250,000 to be matched, in part, by the participating employer, to support 14 interns over the next four years. The inaugural OBI-Pfizer Canada internship awards were recently offered to support interns at three Ontario-based neurotech startups – Awake Labs, LumeNeuro, and NeuroQore.

“The OBI-Pfizer Canada partnership is another driver of OBI’s mandate to further cultivate Ontario’s growing neurotechnology ecosystem,” said Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, OBI’s President and Scientific Director. “The internship placements will retain key talent in Ontario by offering recent neuroscience graduates industry experience, while offering neurotech startups much needed talent support to continue growing their companies.”

The experiential learning opportunities gained through the internships will ensure a future pool of experienced highly qualified personnel (HQPs) ready to lead companies and organizations in Ontario’s neurotech cluster.

“We are pleased to partner with The Ontario Brain Institute to implement concrete measures that will bring critical skills to prospective neurotech leaders within the life science sector,” said John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada. “Our approach is to collaborate in new and dynamic ways with stakeholders such as OBI to help grow and scale future management talent required for Ontario to meet the health challenges of tomorrow.”

The OBI-Pfizer Canada internship awards will complement OBI’s existing annual internship program which currently supports up to 10 paid internships at partner organizations. OBI has supported 127 interns who have achieved an 82 per cent success rate in gaining full-time employment within six months after their internship. Many are now in senior leadership roles and contributing to the broader neurotech cluster ecosystem.

For more information on how to apply for the industry-based internships please visit OBI Internships.

About the Ontario Brain Institute

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially funded, not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative ‘team science’ approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Welcome to Brain Central. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter (@OntarioBrain).

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines, vaccines, and consumer health products. In 2017, Pfizer Inc. invested US$ 7.65 billion globally toward developing safe and effective medicines and took part in more than 180 new R-D collaborations. Canadian headquarters of Pfizer’s Biopharmaceutical Group are located in Kirkland, Quebec. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Media Contacts

Allison Garber

Ontario Brain Institute

902 221 5254

Corporate Affairs

Pfizer Canada

1-866-9PFIZER (1-866-973-4937)