Wallonia (Belgium) and Canada join forces in a new international initiative to improve biopharmaceutical R&D


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Toronto, October 29, 2015. – BioWin, the Health Cluster of Wallonia, and the Government of Wallonia entered into a collaborative agreement with the Canadian consortium CQDM and launched a new Canada/Wallonia joint funding program. This new international collaborative agreement will help Canadian SMEs and academic researchers work jointly with SMEs from the Walloon region of Belgium on collaborative research projects focused on the discovery and development of new drugs. Partners made the announcement today in Toronto as they signed the agreement in the presence of the Honourable Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice President of the Government of Wallonia, Minister of Economy, Industry, Innovation and Digital Technology during his economic mission to Canada.

This new partnership will strengthen biomedical research in Canada and Wallonia by aligning scientific resources and expertise toward the development of next-generation tools, technologies and platforms. It is also an opportunity to develop new expertise and to expand into new markets for researchers based in Canada and Wallonia. Approved projects will be awarded a maximum of €750,000 by Wallonia and $700,000 by Canada over a period of not exceeding two years. The research done in Canada will be funded directly by CQDM as either a grant or an investment, while the research done by the Walloon partners will be based on a private/public funding by the Government of Wallonia/BioWin (4.0 Marshall Plan) and the SME involved in the project.

This partnership, in addition to the ongoing call for R&D projects, is consistent with the broader scope of the International Collaborative Projects – ICP 2016, a call for projects launched on October 1 st, 2015 by BioWin, with the support of the Government of Wallonia.

“For the last 10 years, Wallonia has been developing a smart specialization strategy via its Competitiveness Cluster policy. BioWin reflects our determination to strengthen the Walloon life sciences ecosystem on an international scale. Entering into this collaborative agreement with Canada provides us with the unique opportunity to bolster our economic trade in an innovative industry where both our countries rise together as world leaders, specifically in the health sector,” declared Minister Marcourt.

“This new bilateral agreement and associated call for projects are very much in line with BioWin’s internationalization strategy. In fact, the Cluster wants to offer its members opportunities for international collaborative innovations with regions recognized for their excellence in the Health sector, as was the case in 2013 and 2014 with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center,” declared Sylvie Ponchaut, Managing Director of BioWin.

“We are very excited to enter into this partnership with BioWin and the Government of Wallonia as academic researchers and SMEs across Canada will benefit from the Walloon complementary expertise while promoting Canadian know-how abroad. With this new program, researchers will build long term collaborations while gaining a privileged access to a market with yet untapped potential,” said Mario Chevrette, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at CQDM.

Candidates can view the call for projects and program requirements on CQDM’s website at: http://tinyurl.com/pt656ld and BioWin’s website at http://tinyurl.com/nklljzf. Candidates have until January 8, 2016 to submit a letter of intention via BioWin’s secure website.

Frédéric Druck, Deputy Managing Director, BioWin; Pascale Delcomminette, CEO, Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX); the Honourable Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice President of the Government of Wallonia, Minister of Economy, Industry, Innovation and Digital Technology; Diane Gosselin, President and CEO, CQDM; and Mario Chevrette, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, CQDM


About the Government of Wallonia

The Government of Wallonia initiates regional and international calls for R&D projects to encourage a collaborative dynamic between universities, companies and research centres so that together, they develop innovative products and services with high added-value and potential for commercialization at the national and international level.

About BioWin asbl

Created in July 2006, BioWin is the reference player in the field of health biotechnology and medical technologies in Wallonia (a region located South Brussels, in Belgium). The cluster federates all the Walloon stakeholders (companies, research centers and universities) involved in innovative R&D projects and/or trainings for the development of new products and services. BioWin has defined 4 strategic priorities: innovative R&D projects, building the skills that industry players need to succeed, international footprint of the cluster and its members, and the creation of technological platforms. For more information: www.biowin.org and blog http://win-health.org.

About CQDM

CQDM is a pharma-based consortium active in early research whose mission is to fund the development of innovative tools and technologies to accelerate drug discovery. Unique in the world, CQDM’s business model is based on a collaborative approach where all stakeholders share the costs of biopharmaceutical research and benefit from its results. CQDM also provides a common meeting ground where academia, governments, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries converge to address numerous complex medical challenges. CQDM receives financial support from Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly Canada, Janssen, Novartis Pharma Canada, Sanofi Canada, as well as from Quebec’s Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Exports (MEIE) and from the Government of Canada under the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (BL-NCE). For more information, visit us at www.cqdm.org.



Julie Martineau
Senior Director, Communications and Corporate Development
Phone: +1-514-766-6661, ext. 2198

Frédéric Druck
Deputy Managing Director
Phone: +32 (0)474/52.02.69

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