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Two projects get go-ahead under Ontario-Quebec research initiative


Toronto, ON Two Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)-backed projects are the first to be approved under an Ontario-Quebec life sciences research partnership.

“OCE is pleased that our projects have been recognized as important to this partnership,” said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. “Through our academic and industry networks as well as our expertise in mentoring, we have been able to support candidates that will further develop their ideas to enable growth and innovation across the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor.”

Last June, a partnership was launched between key players from Ontario, including OCE, and the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) to fund collaborative life sciences research projects between the two provinces. It was the first initiative out of the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor announced at the 2011 BIO International Convention.

The two OCE projects were among eight under consideration. They are partnerships between:

  • McMaster University, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Spectral Applied Research in Richmond Hill and the National Optics Institute in Quebec City that is developing an instrument add-on device to improve efficiency in drug screening processes; and
  • Toronto’s InDanio Biosciences and McGill University in Montreal to advance development of a new drug discovery platform for cancer and metabolic disease therapies.

The Québec/Ontario CQDM Funding Program is supporting collaborative research projects that seek to develop new tools for biopharmaceutical research. Other partners include MaRS Innovation and Ontario Brain Institute.

“Seeking innovation is a difficult challenge. One of the goals of this Quebec-Ontario program is to answer this challenge by promoting collaboration between academic disciplines. The CQDM-OCE partnership is proudly enhancing innovation across Quebec-Ontario boundaries,” said Diane Gosselin, president and CEO at CQDM.

The program was open to all researchers in Québec and Ontario from academic institutions or small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Selected projects are eligible for up to $750K in funding for three years. CQDM will fund the Québec arm of the project.