Quantum Leap – Program Opened

News & Events

CQDM supports precompetitive research whose technological breakthroughs will boost the productivity of biopharmaceutical R&D and provide solutions to the unmet critical needs of the industry.

Although CQDM members share costs, risks and research results, the intellectual property resulting from the CQDM-funded research will belong to the researchers and their respective institutions. A non-exclusive license option will be granted to CQDM partners to ensure that project results are used for research and development purposes only.

Deadline to participate in the next round of selection: August 29, 2018.

New format of Application Form is now available.

To learn more about the results and outcomes of the CQDM-funded programs,  click here.

Quantum Leap, an overview

Details of the program are available after this section.

Program Information
Main objectives Innovative technologies, tools and platforms that accelerate or facilitate the drug discovery/development process
Scope Funding SMEs and academic researchers to further develop impactful platforms while positioning them advantageously for commercialization
Important dates Open all year long, but applications will be reviewed quarterly
Deadline to participate in the next round of selection: August 29, 2018
Intellectual property Belongs to the researchers and their respective institutions
Targeted regions Canada
A Quebec / France variant is also active. Click here to find out more
Eligibility SMEs, public/private partnership encouraged
Project Specifics
Selection criterias Scientific excellence, creativity, innovative character of research projects, adequacy with the needs of the industry
Duration of projects Minimum 1 year, maximum 3 years
Total amount According to the selected research project
Submit a Project
Pre-selection Complete the necessary sections of the Quantum Leap Form   and send it with all researchers’ c.v. to Steven Xanthoudakis, Chief Business Development Officer at CQDM and Marc Thibault, Director of Programs
Project Examples
Projects in progress One project is underway or completed.  Click here to learn more

Scope and Research Agenda

The Quantum Leap program is intended to support outstanding translational research projects implementing state-of-the-art technologies with very high potential impact in key areas of unmet needs within the biopharmaceutical industry. It is expected that the funded technologies should provide valuable opportunities for future collaborations and/or investment from key partners on a global scale.

This program is aimed at developing highly innovative technologies, platforms or tools with strong preliminary data showcasing high potential to drastically improve, facilitate and accelerate the process of discovery and development of drugs that prevent, treat or cure diseases in all major indications pursued by the biopharmaceutical industry.

Quantum Leap strategic initiative aims to bring disruptive technologies or platforms to a point where services and/or products generated by the platforms could be commercialized or further developed for use by the industry and/or the scientific community. The program strongly encourages public-private partnership for the development of technologies that create value for all partners involved.

The research agenda extends to all scientific and technical fields related to biopharmaceutical R&D and all disciplines that could provide new cutting-edge platforms to enhance and improve biopharmaceutical research productivity. The expectations are that the translational research projects will generate tangible results with catalytic effects on developing optimized approaches to the treatment of diseases by the biopharmaceutical industry.

Eligibility criteria

  • The program is open to private (SMEs) and public institutions across Canada; however, the detailed eligibility criteria are expected to vary based on whether the project is led by a SME or a public institution; whether the project is based in or outside the province of Quebec; and per the maturation level of the technology;
  • Because budget structures can vary depending on each project, it is mandatory to contact CQDM before applying (please see contact information in the section: Application process);
  • Applicants with a secured financial commitment from the industry or from any private, semi-private and public organizations (either for-profit or non-profit) could be advantaged;
  • Although not mandatory, projects involving collaborations between academic and private sector organizations are of great importance for this program. Therefore, public/private partnerships will be prioritized;
  • CQDM will try to maximize private contribution and co-funding in collaboration with the research team interested in applying for Quantum Leap;
  • Projects with technologies oriented towards indications such as neurosciences and cancer are more likely to benefit from improved budgetary flexibility ensuing from increased financial leverage through co-funding by a CQDM partner;
  • Quebec-based projects involving a collaboration with France and more specifically with an SME in the regions of Alsace or Rhône-Alpes Lyon could be eligible to a collaborative initiative improving budgetary flexibility ensuing from increased financial leverage through co-funding by a CQDM partners Alsace BioValley and Lyonbiopôle, respectively. See more details here.

Funding specifics


Minimum 1 year, maximum 3 years

General financing terms

  • CQDM will consider applications with total budget ranging from $500,000 to $1,200,000. In exceptional cases with outstanding projects, CQDM could consider budget above $2, 000,000;
  • Final budget may vary based on whether the project is led by an SME or a public institution; whether the project is based in or outside the province of Quebec and per the maturation level of the technology;
  • Final budget may also vary whether co-founding partners are involved;
  • The funding may take the form of a grant or an investment;
  • The amount requested must be very well justified and will be scrutinized by CQDM;
  • Applicant interested in applying for Mitacs funding for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participating in the CQDM project, please fill the appropriate Mitacs internship section within the CQDM application form.

Eligible costs

  • Salary and benefits of research personnel necessary for the project (technical/professional assistants, post-doctoral fellows, and students);
  • Material and laboratory supplies including services provided by third party suppliers necessary for the realization of the project.

Non-eligible costs

  • Equipment or facilities (purchase or rental);
  • Salary of the principal investigator (PI) and co-investigators from universities and their affiliated research centers.

Application process

The Quantum Leap program is designed to allow close interaction between the applicants and CQDM staff prior to submitting the application, hence it is possible that questions will be asked by CQDM’s staff to the applicants before and after submission.

Only applicants whose previous Phase 1 application has been accepted will be invited to submit a revised Phase II application including all the additional information required and responding to comments, concerns and questions issued by the CQDM Strategic Steering Committee.

Regarding the full application, it must be submitted electronically to the CQDM secure site (https://cqdm.firmex.com). Applicants must contact Mathieu Perrée of the CQDM to obtain a username and password.

Selection criterias

Only projects with strong support and interest from at least one CQDM industrial partner or participating member will receive funding.

Selection criteria also include:

  • Impact on drug research: potential for disruptive change and tangible applicability in drug R&D to address important unmet biopharmaceutical needs;
  • Scientific excellence: novelty and significance of the proposed research, quality of the experimental plan;
  • Feasibility: current state of development of the technology, preliminary evidence; clear, well-defined deliverables and milestones linked to the research plan and Gantt chart; adequacy of plans for effective management of the research team and project;
  • Positioning and competitive edge: Innovativeness of the proposed technology. Identification of the most relevant competing technologies (existing or in development) that aim to achieve the same goal as the proposed project, by a similar or different approach. Proposed technology should have a clear edge over competitors worldwide with an ability to disrupt the sector;
  • Commercial opportunities: clear high potential commercial value of the technology. Ability to fulfill important market unmet needs. Soundness of the development plan of the technology with clear path towards commercialization or deployment for use by the industry and/or the scientific community, including main future development steps (ex.: further validation, scale-up, manufacturing, regulation, deployment strategy, etc), necessary funds required for each step and expected timeline to reach the market;
  • Quality of the Business plan when applicable (for SME);
  • Economic benefits: potential economic benefits for all entities involved. Project should be central to the SME corporate goals and/or allow entities to gain leadership positioning in the coveted market;
  • Track record of the applicants (principal investigators and co-investigators): relevance and quality of the team. Complementarity and synergy between partners involved in the project.

Evaluation process

  1. Preselection based on the strong interest of at least one CQDM industrial member;
  2. Preselected applicants are invited to submit a Phase II revised full application based on the comments provided by CQDM;
  3. External and independent scientific evaluation as per the evaluation criteria above;
  4. Due diligence: CQDM will evaluate non-scientific aspects of the project that could jeopardize its successful achievement, such as intellectual property, potential ethical issues, ability for patient recruitment (when applicable), corporate information (for private companies), project management plans and any other potential risks;
  5. If deemed necessary, the applicants may be asked to present their project in person to CQDM’s Strategic Orientation Committee;
  6. CQDM’s Strategic Orientation Committee final evaluation and recommendations to CQDM’s Board of Directors;
  7. Final selection by CQDM’s Board of Directors;
  8. Notification of the outcome to all applicants.

Licensing policy

Successful applicants will need to sign a research agreement with CQDM within 3 months after the funding confirmation. The research agreement will contain clearly defined milestones, schedules (Gantt chart) and deliverables and must be signed by all research entities involved in the project.

The research agreement will include a section on intellectual property and licensing policy that follows these general principles:

  • As per the CQDM model, IP belongs to the inventors according to policies in place at the research institutions of the research team;
  • In most cases a non-exclusive license option will be granted to the CQDM participating industrial members for the use of the technology for R&D purposes only. However, depending on the nature of the project and participating members involved, the terms of the license could be modified;
  • The main conditions of the end-user license option will be negotiated before the beginning of the project and will consider pre-existing IP as well as contribution from each party.