Deadline to participate in the next selection round: NEW DATE - November 23rd, 2022

The eligibility rules for the SynergiQc program have changed. In brief:

  • At a minimum, a collaboration between one research center and one eligible Quebec company is required
  • The maximum financial contribution from CQDM now varies according to the size of the partner company, regardless of the level of technological maturity of the project (which can vary from 1 to 6)

CQDM’s SynergiQc program is designed to promote university-based industrial research in the biopharmaceutical field that will generate economic benefits for Quebec.

NEW – Deadline to participate in the next selection round (full application): Novemer 23rd, 2022. Please note that in order to allow for a proper evaluation of the projects, we ask that researchers notify us of their intent to apply no later than November 16th, 2022 (see list of required information below under Application process).

SCOPE AND RESEARCH AGENDA
Scope and research agenda of the Quebec Funding Program for Biopharmaceutical Research

SynergiQC is a Quebec funding program for biopharmaceutical research created by CQDM. It is designed to promote university-based industrial research in the biopharmaceutical field that will generate economic benefits across Quebec.

With the Quebec funding program for biopharmaceutical research, CQDM extends its funding capacity to the development of biopharmaceutical products with high industrial and commercial value, such as more competitive molecules and other technologies that support a larger number of companies by expanding its pool of industrial members.

SynergiQc offers a large network of life sciences organizations (pharmas, SMEs, spin-offs and start-up, CROs, etc.) the opportunity to fund, individually or collectively, academic projects in Quebec that address their specific needs.

This industrial biopharmaceutical research program specifically aims to:

  • Promote the technological innovation capabilities of Quebec businesses by tapping into academic research.
  • Increase collaborations and partnerships across Quebec universities and companies in the life sciences industry.
  • Foster technological maturation and industrial value creation benefiting project stakeholders and Quebec as a whole.
  • Promote the knowledge, know-how, and new technologies developed in public institutions and help with their transfer to the industry.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Eligible applicants

  • All researchers working in a research institution in Quebec (university and affiliated hospital, research institute, college center for technology transfer [CCTT], public research center) and working in close collaboration with at least one eligible Quebec company.

Eligible projects

  • R&D projects with industrial impact applicable to life sciences, including the conduct of clinical trials, and conducted in partnership with one or more eligible companies.
  • The level of technological maturation must be between 1 and 6 at the beginning of the project – see the TRL Guide here.
  • Socio-economic benefits must be generated for Quebec and for the private partner(s) involved in the project.
  • At least one student (master, doctorate, post-doctorate) must take part in the project.

FUNDING
Duration

Minimum 1 year, maximum 3 years.

Budget

  • Minimum budget: in general, the minimum budget for the project must be at least $500,000. On an exceptional basis, a project with a lower cost that generates significant value for the partner(s) may be considered;

Maximum budget: $3.75M* for projects involving at least one eligible Quebec SME; $7.5M* for projects involving only one or more eligible large Quebec companies

Funding details

Project involving at least one eligible Quebec small or medium-sized enterprise (SME):

CQDM’s financial support can represent up to a maximum of 40% of eligible project expenses (i.e. up to $1.5M* over 3 years), subject to the following eligibility criteria:

To be eligible, an SME must:

  • Have a significant participation in the project;
  • Have a place of business in Quebec, be legally constituted according to federal or Quebec laws and be registered with the Quebec Enterprise Register;
  • Have R&D and/or production activities in Quebec;
  • Have 249 employees or less.

At least one partner company (including the eligible SME) must contribute to the funding of the research project, in cash, for a minimum of 20% of the eligible expenses. In-kind contributions are not eligible for the matching calculations.

One or more large companies may also participate and contribute to the project without impacting the funding rules, as long as the eligible SME provides a cash contribution of at least 4% of eligible expenses.

Up to 40% of the required funding may come from other sources, including Canadian and foreign companies, foundations or non-MEI government grants, such as federal grants offered by Mitacs.

CQDM’s total contribution* cannot exceed $500,000 per year.

Projects involving an eligible Quebec large enterprise (LE) (without participation of an eligible SME):

CQDM’s financial assistance can represent up to a maximum of 20% of the eligible project expenses (i.e. up to $1.5M* over 3 years), subject to the following eligibility criteria:

To be eligible, an LE must:

  • Have a significant participation in the project;
  • Have a place of business in Quebec, be legally constituted under federal or Quebec law and be registered with the Quebec Enterprise Register;
  • Have R&D and/or production activities in Quebec;
  • Have 250 employees or more.

At least one eligible LE partner will be required to contribute a minimum of 40% of eligible expenses to the research project. In-kind contributions can be up to 50% of the industrial partner contribution.

Up to 40% of the required funding may come from other sources, including Canadian and foreign companies, foundations and non-MEI government grants, such as federal grants offered by Mitacs.

Table 1. Summary of funding scenarios

Characteristics

Collaborative project with an SME

Collaborative project with only one or more large companies

Partner companies required

At least one eligible Quebec SME.

At least one eligible large Quebec company.

Maximum budget

3.75M*

7.5M*

CQDM contribution

40% of eligible expenses / 1.5M over 3 years.

20% of eligible expenses / 1.5M over 3 years.

Contribution from partner companies

20-60% of eligible expenses in cash.

40-80% of eligible expenses. In-kind contributions of up to 50% of the partner companies’ contributions are eligible.

Other matched funding

Up to 40%. Eligible sources include Canadian and foreign companies, foundations, and non-MEI government contributions.

Up to 40%. Eligible sources include Canadian and foreign companies, foundations, and non-MEI government contributions.

*Indirect research costs (IRCs) will be added to total project costs: a fixed rate of 27% for IRCs will be applied to eligible expenditure items associated with the funds provided by the MEI (Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation). IRCs (wages and fringe benefits, fellowships, material and supplies,  purchase or rental equipment, and travel and accommodation expenses) are excluded from the partner contribution ratios described in Table 1. Mitacs grants are not expenses subject to ICRs.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES
Eligible expenses incurred by Quebec research institutions include:

  • Fellowships, wages and fringe benefits for research personnel assigned to the project (technicians, research assistants and associates, postdoctoral fellows, and students).
  • Laboratory equipment, consumables and supplies, as well as animal housing and platform fees.
  • Travel expenses (travel related to the project, collaborations, conferences) and knowledge dissemination costs.
  • Intellectual property costs (patent applications, patent maintenance fees for the duration of the project).
  • The rental or purchase of small equipment of a maximum value of $25,000 and necessary for the realization of the project.
  • Some subcontracting expenses to Quebec companies that are not partners in the project can be authorized when the activity is essential to the project and cannot be performed by the research institution.

Non-eligible costs:

  • In-kind expenses by partner companies are eligible only in the case of projects involving only large Quebec companies.
  • Lease (or purchase) of facilities and purchase of equipment valued over $25,000
  • Salary of the principal investigator (PI) and co-investigators from universities and their affiliated research centers.

APPLICATION PROCESS
Application process of the Quebec Funding Program for Biopharmaceutical Research

Call for proposals are open every three months.

The deadline to participate in the next round of selection is: November 23, 2022. Please note that you must notify us no later than November 16, 2022 of your intention to submit a proposal in order to allow for proper evaluation of the projects.

 Application process:

  1. Contact Mathieu Paquette, Director – Business Development, to validate the eligibility of your project and obtain the application form and the SynergiQc budget template at the following address: mpaquette@cqdm.org
  2. Submit a half-page non-confidential scientific summary (including the project title, the PI’s name and affiliations, the project’s total budget, the private partners involved as well as the amouonts of their respective contribution) to the following address no later than 1 week before the application deadline: appliquez-apply@cqdm.org
  3. Obtain letters of support from corporate partners and include them as an appendix to the application
  4. Send the completed application to appliquez-apply@cqdm.org

 

EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Scientific merit and feasibility;
  • The innovative and competitive nature of the proposed technology;
  • Quality of the teams and collaboration;
  • Quality of the development and commercialization plan;
  • The expected benefits for the industrial partners;
  • Expected socio-economic benefits for Quebec.

 

EVALUATION PROCESS
The key evaluation steps are:

  • An independent scientific evaluation based on the evaluation criteria listed above;
  • A review of non-scientific aspects of the project, including the level of commitment of the companies, the added value of the collaboration and the specific risks inherent to the project;
  • The overall evaluation of the project by CQDM’s scientific advisory committee, which is responsible for making funding recommendations;
  • Approval of the project by CQDM’s Board of Directors.
  • Approval of funding by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI)

 

 

 

RESEARCH AGREEMENT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY

  • Research institutions that will be awarded a research grant from CQDM as well as industrial partners must commit to sign a research agreement within 3 months following the receipt of CQDM’s approval letter;
  • CQDM will provide the template of the research agreement which will define very precisely the milestones to be reached, the timeline (Gantt chart) and the deliverables at the end of the project;
  • An intellectual property agreement in which CQDM is not involved will also have to be signed by all the research institutions and industrial partners associated with the project and then attached to the research agreement.