19 May 2020   |   Network Updates   |   Update from Québec Research Funds
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Québec Research Funds: Government to invest CA$ 10M in COVID-19 research projects


The Government of Québec will invest more than $10 million, through the Innovation Program, the Program to Support Research and Innovation Organizations and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, to support scientific and technological projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Danielle McCann, made the announcement on 13 May.

Together with a number of partners, the scientific and industrial communities have mobilized to issue calls for projects in their respective networks to address the current challenges of the pandemic. These partners are the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM), the Consortium industriel de recherche et d'innovation en technologies médicales du Québec (MEDTEQ), PRIMA Québec, Prompt, Génome Québec, the TransMedTech Institute and the Institut de valorisation des données (IVADO).

Hundreds of projects concerning vaccines, treatments, screening, technological solutions and social issues have already been submitted. To date, five initiatives, valued at nearly $3 million, have been selected:

Development of specific serological analyses for COVID-19 - Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal;
Safe Handling Platform for VIDOC-19 for Research - Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec;
Customization of reusable masks with a fast swap filter - ShapeShift 3D company;
Telehealth platform to support pharmacy teams and patients - company Question for a pharmacist;
Biometric garment: Continuous monitoring of the condition of patients at risk or testing positive for VIDOC-19 with an intelligent garment - company Carré Technologies.
These initiatives are in addition to Medicago's vaccine development project, supported by the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation, and the Colcorona clinical study. This link leads to a site that may not be subject to the government standard on accessibility. of the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre on a potential treatment, supported by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

Quotes
"Quebec's scientific community is dynamic and puts its creativity to work to find innovative solutions that correspond to priority needs, particularly those of our health system. In this regard, I would like to salute the unprecedented mobilization of Quebec's research and innovation ecosystem against COVID-19. The hundreds of projects that the partners have submitted to us represent as many possible and complementary solutions to defeat this pandemic. "Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region.

"The current pandemic raises issues that need to be addressed quickly. Research and innovation can be a source of innovative responses to many of these issues. The development of vaccines or analyses specific to COVID-19 as well as tools such as telemedicine is at the heart of crucial innovations in this context. We are proud to be able to count on the expertise of the research institutions in our network and on that of their partners, all of whom are committed to the continuous improvement of care offered to the Quebec population. "Danielle McCann, Minister of Health and Social Services

"I am very proud of the unparalleled mobilization of Quebec's scientific community to find solutions to this pandemic, as evidenced by the impressive number of projects submitted. I am convinced that the excellence of our researchers and the wealth of their expertise will enable us to find answers to the health and social issues we are facing. "Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec and Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec

Highlights

The objective of the Innovation Program is to support enterprises, primarily SMEs, in carrying out their innovation projects and commercializing their innovations, whether the projects are carried out in Quebec or with partners abroad.
The goal of the Support Program for Research and Innovation Organizations is to consolidate the Québec innovation system and its components, increase the competitiveness of enterprises and society through innovation, and promote the optimal or concerted use of research results in economic, social, environmental and cultural terms.

This article was first published on 13 May by Québec Research Funds.

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