Deadline to participate in the next selection round: October 7th, 2019

The objective of CQDM’s SynergiQc-International program is to promote university-based industrial research in the biopharmaceutical field, while fostering international collaborations..

Deadline to participate in the next selection round (full application): October 7th, 2019

With the financial support of the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI), CQDM’s SynergiQc-International program is designed to support and implement international biopharmaceutical research and innovation initiatives between universities and industries.

SynergiQc-International helps fund Quebec companies looking to invest, collectively or individually, in Quebec university projects meeting their specific business needs. The active involvement of one or several foreign partners in the research activities will bring added value by generating technological and economic benefits for the stakeholders and the province of Quebec.

Focus of the international industrial biopharmaceutical research program:

  • Promote the technological innovation capabilities of Quebec businesses by tapping into academic research.
  • Increase collaborations and partnerships across foreign and 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.

The following are eligible to file an application with CQDM:

  1. Quebec health care and educational institutions.
  2. Quebec public research institutions.
  3. Quebec non-profit organizations involved in various fields of research and development.

Eligible projects

The CQDM will consider applications for large-scale projects involving a high-quality international partnership that can generate significant economic benefits for their stakeholders and the province Quebec.

Eligible research projects in the biopharmaceutical field include:

  • Industry-focused university research projects conducted in partnership with one or more companies.
  • Research projects with the appropriate technology readiness level (TRL 1‑9).
  • Projects generating socio-economic benefits for the province of Quebec and for participating private partners (stakeholders).

Projects must involve the participation of at least one Quebec company (priority given to SMEs), one eligible research organization and a foreign partner from a priority region*, otherwise the submitted proposal will not be considered. The involvement of partners is subject to a signed letter of support.

Projects must demonstrate a balanced participation of both Quebec and foreign parties for their entire duration; a cash or in-kind contribution from all foreign partners totalling at least 30% of all project expenses is mandatory. The letter of support signed by each foreign partner must detail the terms and conditions of their participation. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the project’s financing package meets the program’s criteria (refer to the Funding section for details on the required cofunding – CQDM may assist promoters on this matter).

*List of priority countries and regions

America Asia Europe Near East Partner Regions
Canada (outside Quebec)
United States (USA)
South Korea
Benelux countries
Scandinavian countries
United Kingdom
Israel Bavaria (Germany)
Western Cape (South Africa)
Georgia (USA)
Upper Austria (Austria)
Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Shandong (China)

Funding terms for the Quebec portion of the project

The maximum duration of the project will be 3 years.

For all projects:

  • Activities carried out in Quebec must represent a maximum of 70% of the total value of the project.
  • CQDM’s financial assistance will take the form of a non-refundable and non-recurring contribution of up to 50% of the Quebec portion’s eligible costs, up to a maximum of $500,000 over three years per project.
  • At least one Quebec company (priority given to SMEs) must fund, in cash, a minimum of 20% of eligible research project costs of the Quebec portion.
  • Cash contributions from one or several funding sources (excluding contributions from a MEI program) are also eligible*.
  • Proof of all contributions to the project (except those provided by CQDM) will be required (official signed letters specifying the amounts granted for the project’s completion).

* Combined government assistance (municipal, provincial, and federal) including contributions from partners (associations, organizations, etc.) will not exceed 80% of total project-related expenses. Otherwise, CQDM funding will be reduced by a percentage equivalent to the surplus.

Management fees and indirect research costs

The financial assistance includes the portion of the MEI’s management fees for CQDM representing a total of 5% of the direct eligible costs of the Quebec portion of the project. Management fees paid by each funding partner will be prorated to their contribution to the Quebec portion of the project.

Additional operating expenses (indirect research costs) will be eligible for universities and affiliated hospitals. A maximum rate of 27% prorated to the MEI contribution will be applied to the following five eligible cost items included in the direct project-related costs:

  • Salaries and fringe benefits;
  • Student scholarships;
  • Materials, consumables and supplies, including animal facility and platform-related fees;
  • Equipment purchases or leasing (maximum $15,000 before taxes per purchased equipment);
  • Travel and living expenses.

Indirect research costs (IRCs) will be included in the MEI’s financial support and are also included for the purpose of calculating funding ratios. Every financial partner involved must match this contribution.

The following expenses will be eligible if deemed reasonable, justifiable and directly attributable to the project:

  • Salary expenditures for the R&D personnel hired to complete the project (depending on organization type):
    • For universities and institutions in the health and social services network where research activities are conducted: Salary expenditures for graduate students, research assistants, research professionals and technicians;
  • Student scholarships;
  • The purchase or leasing of project-related equipment[1];
  • Research-related consumables and supplies;
  • Animal facility and platform-related costs;
  • Travel and living expenses for Quebec researchers and students (airfare, local transportation, accommodations, meal expenses and visa costs);
  • Consulting fees and sub-contracting costs;
  • Management costs for the use of intellectual property;
  • Knowledge dissemination costs;
  • Costs related to the use of research and innovation results and intellectual property protection (publication costs, scientific and technological dissemination costs, workshop and seminar administration costs, international patent fees, etc.);
  • Legal document translation and design costs for partnership consolidations (maximum $10,000).

Eligible project salaries are set according to the agreed-upon salary rates within each organization and prorated to the involvement of the various employees.

Maximum Wage Grid for the Analysis of Applications

Position Maximum Wages + Fringe Benefits
Project Manager (Research Professional) Maximum $90/hour (including fringe benefits)
Student or Research Assistant Maximum $30/hour (including fringe benefits)
External Consultant Maximum $100/hour, or $75,000 per project
Secretary Maximum $25/hour (including fringe benefits)
Technician Maximum $45/hour (including fringe benefits)



Travel and living expenses in Quebec and abroad for Quebec researchers and students must not exceed 15% of all eligible expenses (up to a maximum of 5% of all eligible expenses in Quebec).

[1] Expenses regarding small equipment purchases or equipment leasing will be limited to a maximum of 25% of all eligible expenses. The purchase value of each piece of equipment must be equal to or less than $15,000 before taxes.

When calculating the grant, only amounts that correspond to current Government of Quebec rates will be considered (refer to guidelines on travel and living expenses).

Ineligible expenses:

  • Salaries for university professor-researchers, and 50% of the salaries of researchers from participating federal research centres;
  • Salaries for administrative support staff;
  • Travel expenses incurred by the Quebec team’s researchers and students attending events not directly related to the project;
  • Accommodations, travel and living expenses for foreign researchers and students;
  • Support expenditures for the programming of activities;
  • Equipment purchases priced above $15,000 before taxes;
  • Expenses for project planning activities, or any commercial, economic or technology transfer activity.
  • Any expense not directly related to the project;
  • The cost of establishing an on-line presence or web hosting;
  • Support expenditures for the programming of activities;

Budget details will be carefully examined and must be well documented.

Deadline to participate in the next selection round of the SynergiQc-International program:

October 7th, 2019

Application process:

  1. Draft a half-page, non-confidential scientific summary (including the title of the project, name and affiliation of the principal investigator, total budget, name of the partners and the amount of their respective contributions) and send it to Marc Thibault, or Véronique Dugas, at least 10 days before the deadline for full applications.
  2. Complete the  SynergiQc-International application form.
  3. Include the letters of support from partners.
  4. Applications must be submitted electronically through CQDM’s secure site (to obtain a username or password, or for questions, please contact the above stated team members).

We strongly recommend contacting Marc Thibault or Véronique Dugas for questions or assistance regarding the program, including budgeting and funding arrangements.

Projects are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific or technological quality of the project.
  • Project structure and management.
  • Innovativeness and global standing.
  • Quality of the applicant and other Quebec partners.
  • Quality of foreign partners.
  • Quality of the public-public/private partnership.
  • Knowledge translation support.
  • Scientific, technological, social or economic benefits for Quebec.
  • Balanced share of expected benefits for Quebec and foreign partners in the intellectual property protocol.
  • Benefits for the organization or the strategic partners.
  • Priority status of the country.

The evaluation process consists of these key steps:

  • Confirmation of the administrative eligibility of the project, including proposed financial arrangement and expenses.
  • An independent scientific evaluation based on the selection criteria detailed above.
  • An evaluation of the non-scientific elements of the project, including the quality of the relationship and collaboration between the researchers, the Quebec company and foreign partners, as well as the added value of the collaboration, and the economic benefits for each of the stakeholders, including the province of Quebec.
  • Assessment of notes and comments from independent experts by CQDM’s Scientific Advisory Board responsible for presenting funding recommendations to CQDM’s Board of Directors.
  • Approval of projects recommended by CQDM’s Board of Directors.
  • Confirmation of MEI funding for projects approved by CQDM’s Board of Directors.
Launch of call for applications July 16, 2019
Application deadline October 7, 2019
Announcement of selected projects  February 2020

Research institutions receiving funding from CQDM will be required to sign a research agreement with the organization. A research agreement template will be provided by CQDM.