Lab Canada

New research networks to promote commercialization

Montreal, QC – Two new Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence have been established in the Montreal area.

The networks are large-scale, collaborative research networks led by the private sector and focused on specific business research needs. The Canadian Forest Nanoproducts Network (ArboraNano) in Pointe-Claire will receive $8.9 million and the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) in Montréal will receive $8 million over four years from the federal government.

The Canadian Forest NanoProducts Network has the goal of building a new Canadian bio-economy based on innovative, highly-engineered, nanotechnology products created from Canada’s vast forest resources. In so doing, it will will forge alliances between the forest sector manufacturing industry and the aerospace, automotive, medical, composites, coatings and chemical industries. Network Leader is Dr Reinhold Crotogino, FP Innovations.

The Quebec Drug Discovery Consortium brings together players from the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and the university and hospital communities to subsidize Canadian pre-competitive research in the field of drug discovery. It is the first initiative emerging from the Canadian life sciences sector which directly addresses the issue of creativity, productivity and industrial impact in drug discovery. Established along the lines of an innovative public-private partnership model, it takes advantage of the established, dynamic cluster of life sciences in Quebec and puts the needs of the pharmaceutical industry at the very centre of its concerns. The network will bring biotechnology companies and the academic world into closer contact with pharmaceutical powerhouses, regulators and investors, promoting the creation of innovative partnerships. Network Leader is Dr Max Fehlmann.

These two new networks bring the total number to four. The Green Aviation Research and Development Network in Ottawa and the Sustainable Technologies for Energy Production Network in Regina were both announced in January. The total funding requested by the four came to $39.2 million.

The networks are administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat which in turn is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) – in partnership with Industry Canada.