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SynergiQc - Opened until September 27th, 2017

August 22, 2017


Through its new SynergiQc program, the CQDM is expanding its activities in order to stimulate industrial research in the biopharmaceutical field within academic settings and create economic benefits for Quebec.

Deadline to participate in the next round of selection (full application): September 27, 2017

A NEW WAY FOR CQDM TO FINANCE INDUSTRIAL BIOPHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH

Differences from the traditional CQDM model

With the SynergiQc program, CQDM’s funding offer, which has traditionally been limited to platforms and tools designed to improve biopharmaceutical R&D productivity, will now extend to include the development of biopharmaceutical products with high industrial and commercial value, such as new molecules and other technologies considered more competitive.

As such, the CQDM is looking to increase the impact of industrial biopharmaceutical research in Quebec and to support a larger number of companies by expanding its pool of industrial members.

SynergiQc offers the flexibility required to allow a broad network of diverse life sciences businesses to participate financially, either in groups or individually, in projects that meet their specific needs.

In addition, only the stakeholders in a project financed through the SynergiQc program will have access to the intellectual property (IP) resulting from that project.

SynergiQc, an overview

Details of the program are available after this section.

Program Information

Main objectives

Innovative biopharmaceutical technologies, tools, platforms, and products with high industrial and commercial value

Scope

Support and reinforce the innovative technological capabilities of Quebec businesses through the financing of large-scale industrial biopharmaceutical research projects

Important dates

Open all year long, but applications will be reviewed quarterly
Deadline to participate in the next round of selection: July 10, 2017

Intellectual property

Belongs to the researchers and their respective institutions

Targeted regions

Quebec

Eligibility

Quebec academic researchers and SMEs, public-private partnerships required

Project Specifics

Selection criteria

Scientific excellence, feasibility, competitive advantage, creation of value, and relevance to the needs of its industry partners, pertinence of the development and maturation plan
Duration of projectsMinimum 1 year, maximum 3 years
Total amountMinimum of $500k, maximum of $3.75M to $7.5M, depending on the project’s technology readiness level (TRL)

Submit a Project

Pre-selection

Send a scientific non-confidential summary to SynergiQc Form and submit it through CQDM’s secure site after having obtained a username and password.

Project Examples

Projects in progress

Projects will be revealed shortly.

SCOPE AND RESEARCH AGENDA

This program’s specific focus is to:

  • Support and reinforce the innovative technological capabilities of Quebec businesses through the financing of large-scale industrial biopharmaceutical research projects;
  • Increase the number of cooperative endeavours and partnerships between Quebec’s universities and companies in the life sciences industry;
  • Foster technological maturation and the creation of industrial value, leading to economic benefits for both the project’s stakeholders and for Quebec in general;
  • Contribute to promoting the knowledge, the know-how, and the new technologies developed in public institutions and to transferring them to industry.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Eligible clients

Any researcher working in academic research institutions in Quebec (universities and affiliated hospitals, research institutes, and College Centres for the Transfer of Technologies [CCTT]) working in close collaboration with one or more life sciences firms. In this instance, a firm is described as any entity (private or public company, foundation, etc.) with the project financing intervention funds that do not come from any government source. At least one of these firms must have R&D or production activities in Quebec.

Eligible projects

Industrially oriented academic research projects conducted in partnership with one or more firms. Economic benefits must be generated for all the project’s stakeholders. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the project’s financing package meets the program’s criteria (see the Financing section for details on the required amounts). The CQDM can assist applicants with this step, as detailed in the Application Submission Process section.

Two biopharmaceutical research project categories are eligible, defined according to each project’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL), which is evaluated at the beginning of the project (click here to view the TRL Guide):

  • Projects at TRLs of 1 to 3: involve a minimum of two firms, with at least one of them being established in Quebec and engaging in internal research and development (R&D) or production, as well as at least one Quebec academic research institution;
  • Projects at TRLs of 4 to 6: involve a minimum of one firm established in Quebec which engages in internal research and development (R&D) or production and at least one Quebec academic research institution.

FUNDING

Projects at TRLs of 1 to 3

  • The CQDM’s financial support will represent no more than 40% of eligible expenses;
  • At least 2 partnering firms must contribute to the financing of research projects in cash, for no less than 20% of eligible expenses;
  • Both Canadian and foreign companies and Foundations can qualify as the second firm.

Projects at TRLs of 4 to 6

  • The CQDM’s financial support can represent up to 20% of eligible expenses;
  • At least one partnering firm must contribute to the financing of research projects for no less than 40% of eligible expenses. No less than 50% of private contributions must be in cash, while the remaining amount can be a contribution in kind, if properly justified.

For more information on potential funding structures for each TRL, please refer to Table 1 below.

Table 1. Summary of criteria to fund the projects

CharacteristicsTRL 1-3TRL 4-6
CQDM’s maximum contribution
40% of eligible expenses or 50% with the involvement of a second sectoral industrial research group

Maximum: $500k per year ($1.5M over 3 years)

20% of eligible expenses

Maximum: $500k per year ($1.5M over 3 years)

Number of partnering firms required

At least two (2), with one engaging in research or production in Quebec

At least one (1) which must engage in research or production in Quebec

Contribution required by partnering firms

20% to 60% of the project’s eligible expenses in cash

One single partner cannot provide more than 80% of the amount contributed by all partnering firms

40% to 80% of the project’s eligible expenses

A contribution in kind cannot exceed 20% of the project’s total expenses

Other counterpart funds*

Combined support from government agencies cannot exceed 80% of the project’s total expenses

Combined support from government agencies cannot exceed 60% of the project’s total expenses

* Combined governmental support (municipal, provincial, and federal) including financing from partners (associations, organizations, foundations, etc.) with intervention funds provided by these government agencies cannot exceed 80% of the project’s total expenses. In such cases, the financial support from CQDM will be reduced by a percentage equivalent to the surplus.

Added to the total project costs are indirect research costs (IRCs): a fixed rate of 27% of IRCs will be applied to CQDM portion for eligible expenditures (fellowships, studentships, salaries and benefits and materials and consumables). IRCs are excluded from the other participants’ contributions ratio which appears in Table 1.

For detailed examples of funding structures, please refer to Table 2 and Table 3 here.

Duration

Minimum of 1 year, maximum of 3 years

Funding specifics

  • The CQDM will consider applications for large-scale projects which can generate significant economic benefits for their stakeholders;
  • Minimum budget: each project must have a budget of no less than $500k with some exceptions, such as cases which indicate that significant value can be created with a smaller budget;
  • Maximum budget: $3.75M for TRL 1-3 projects and $7.5M for TRL 4-6 projects;
  • Each budget item will be carefully analyzed and must be clearly justified.

Eligible expenses

  • Fellowships, studentships, salaries, and benefits for research personnel assigned to the project (technicians, research assistants and associates, postdoctoral fellows, and students);
  • Laboratory material and fees paid to third party suppliers which are necessary to the completion of the project;
  • Travel expenses (travel related to the project, collaborations, conferences) and knowledge dissemination costs;
  • Costs related to intellectual property (patent applications, maintenance costs for the duration of the project).

Non-eligible expenses

  • Equipment purchases and the rental or purchase of facilities;
  • Salaries of researchers working at a university or one of its affiliated research centres.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION PROCESS

  • Prepare a half-page, non-confidential scientific summary and send it toMario Chevrette, CQDM’s Vice President, Scientific Affairs or Marc Thibault, Director of Programs, at least 10 days before proceeding to the next step;

Applications must be submitted electronically through CQDM’s secure site (https://cqdm.firmex.com). Applicants must first contact Mathieu Perrée at CQDM to obtain a username and password.

In addition, researchers are also strongly encouraged to call Marc Thibault at 514-766-6661 ext. 2190 or Mario Chevrette at 514-766-6661 ext. 2197 should they have any questions or for help with any elements of the program, such as budgets and potential financing packages.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Scientific excellence: the innovative nature of the project, its contribution to the scientific world, and the quality and relevance of the proposed methodology in relation to the final product;
  • The project’s feasibility, the soundness of the schedule and of the proposed budget;
  • The competitive advantage of the proposed technology;
  • The creation of industrial value and the relevance between the project and the partners’ needs;
  • The partners’ level of financial involvement;
  • The synergy and complementarity between the researchers working on completing the project;
  • The pertinence of the development plan and of the maturation of the technology required to release it to the end user;
  • Economic benefits for Quebec;
  • The training of a specialized and high-quality workforce.

EVALUATION PROCESS

The main steps of the evaluation are:

  1. An independent scientific evaluation based on the selection criteria detailed above;
  2. An evaluation of the non-scientific elements of the project, including the quality of the relationship and of the cooperation between the researchers and the firms, the added value of the cooperation, and the economic benefits for each of the stakeholders, including for Quebec;
  3. The selection of the project by CQDM’s strategic orientation committee and its recommendation to CQDM’s Board of Directors;
  4. Approval by CQDM’s Board of Directors;
  5. Approval of the necessary funding by the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (MESI).

RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Researchers receiving a research grant from the CQDM will be required to sign a research agreement with CQDM within 3 months after receiving the funding confirmation letter. This research agreement must be signed by all research entities involved in the project as well as all the private partners.

The research agreement will be based on the following principles:

  • The intellectual property will remain the property of the researchers that developed it, in accordance with the existing policies of the research entities involved in the project;
  • The research agreement will clearly define the milestones to be reached, the schedule (Gantt chart), and the products to be delivered at the end of the project;
  • Any interinstitutional intellectual property agreement signed by all research entities involved in the project and of which the CQDM is not part, must be included in the research agreement as an appendix.