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Commercialization Priming

Translating research discoveries and innovation into commercial products is a major goal of the D2R Initiative. Such activities often require substantial resources and investments, typically beyond what conventional research grant programs offer. The D2R Commercialization Priming program aims to provide short-term financial support for early-stage efforts that test or validate the commercial potential of well-defined concepts, technologies, or inventions tied to the D2R Initiative’s priority areas. The goal of this program is to generate key data which may (1) support applications to D2R’s Major Partnership program or other external funding programs or (2) attract an industry partner or other investors.

The Commercialization Priming program invites applications from individual researchers or teams working on projects that align with D2R’s mission, including any of D2R’s Foundational Axes and strategic priority disease areas. Accepting applications on a rolling basis, with a quarterly review process, the program focuses on projects that can be completed within six to twelve months.

The program does not require an industry partner. However, the presence of an industrial or other partner that contributes funding to the project (cash or in-kind) will be considered positively in the evaluation of the translational potential of a given proposal. All industry cash contributions must include 27% indirect costs.

The applicant will be required to provide a commercialization strategy as part of the application process. While it is beneficial to include with your application a report of invention (ROI) that has been accepted as “active available” by McGill’s Office of Innovation and Partnerships or by a D2R partner institution, it is not mandatory at the application stage. However, it may be requested prior to funding a proposal.

This program supports projects that:

  • Align with D2R’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Demonstrate the potential for commercial viability.
  • Present a well-defined strategy for testing or validating commercial potential, including a clear workplan.
  • Show capability to reach proof of concept or advance to a higher technology readiness level within the funding period and budget.
  • Have potential to secure further funding for technology development and commercialization, possibly leading to university spin-offs.
Key dates

Applications are accepted at any time and are reviewed at quarterly meetings, according to the following general schedule.

  • August 15
  • November 15
  • February 15
  • May 15

Applications received by these dates will be reviewed within two months.

Application Process Application consists of an online application form with documents to upload, as described in the Call for Proposals.
Eligibility

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty members who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.

Co-Investigator (Co-I) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty members who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Researchers from D2R’s partner institutions (McMaster University, University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, and Université de Sherbrooke). These researchers must be included in the list of researchers which was provided by the partners and approved by D2R. Contact d2r.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Commercialization%20priming%20program) for list of eligible faculty members from our partner institutions.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.

Collaborators

  • Individuals from McGill, other academic institutions, industry, government, or community organizations, who contribute meaningfully to the project. Collaborators are not eligible to receive funding from D2R.

Partner Organizations

  • Organizations are government, industry, associations, non-profit organizations or other institutions that have contributed or committed cash or in-kind contributions to support the proposed research.
Award value per project

The amount per award is between $50,000 and $100,000 for up to 12 months (non-renewable).

 

D2R Commercialization Priming Program Call Description

1. About the Commercialization Priming Program

1.1 About the Commercialization Priming Program

Translating research discoveries and innovation into commercial products is a major goal of the D2R Initiative. Such activities often require substantial resources and investments, typically beyond what conventional research grant programs offer. The D2R Commercialization Priming program aims to provide short-term financial support for early-stage efforts that test or validate the commercial potential of well-defined concepts, technologies, or inventions tied to the D2R Initiative’s priority areas. The goal of this program is to generate key data which may (1) support applications to D2R’s Major Partnership program or other external funding programs or (2) attract an industry partner or other investors.

The Commercialization Priming program invites applications from individual researchers or teams working on projects that align with D2R’s mission, including any of D2R’s Foundational Axes and strategic priority disease areas. Accepting applications on a rolling basis, with a quarterly review process, the program focuses on projects that can be completed within six to twelve months.

The program does not require an industry partner. However, the presence of an industrial or other partner that contributes funding to the project (cash or in-kind) will be considered positively in the evaluation of the translational potential of a given proposal. All industry cash contributions must include 27% indirect costs.

The applicant will be required to provide a commercialization strategy as part of the application process. While it is beneficial to include with your application a report of invention (ROI) that has been accepted as “active available” by McGill’s Office of Innovation and Partnerships or by a D2R partner institution, it is not mandatory at the application stage. However, it may be requested prior to funding a proposal.

This program supports projects that:

  • Align with D2R’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Demonstrate the potential for commercial viability.
  • Present a well-defined strategy for testing or validating commercial potential, including a clear workplan.
  • Show capability to reach proof of concept or advance to a higher technology readiness level within the funding period and budget.
  • Have potential to secure further funding for technology development and commercialization, possibly leading to university spin-offs.

1.2 Key Dates

Applications are accepted at any time and are reviewed at quarterly meetings, according to the following general schedule.

  • February 15
  • May 15
  • August 15
  • November 15

Applications received by these dates will be reviewed within two months.

1.3 Application Eligibility and Limitation

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty members who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.

Co-Investigator (Co-I) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty members who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Researchers from D2R’s partner institutions (McMaster University, University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, and Université de Sherbrooke). These researchers must be included in the list of researchers that was provided by the partners and approved by D2R. Contact d2r.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Commercialization%20priming%20program) for list of eligible faculty members from our partner institutions.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.

Collaborators

  • Individuals from McGill, other academic institutions, industry, government, or community organizations, who play an active role in the research and research-related activities of the project. Collaborators are not eligible to receive funding from D2R.

Partner Organizations

  • Organizations are government, industry, associations, non-profit organizations or other institutions that have contributed or committed cash or in-kind contributions to support the proposed research.

1.4 Application Limits

  • There is no limit to the number of applications a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator can submit to this D2R program.
  • There are no restrictions on holding multiple awards or roles concurrently under this program.

1.5 Award Value per Project and Duration

The amount per award is between $50,000 and $100,000 for up to 12 months (non-renewable).

1.6 Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses include salaries and benefits, stipends, materials and supplies, travel, and service contracts. For additional information, refer to the CFREF Administration Guide

 

2. Application

2.0 Application

Application consists of an online application form with documents to upload, detailed below.

In addition, the PI must complete the Equity Self-Identification Survey before submitting an application to this program. Only one Self-Identification Survey is needed per PI; if one has already been completed as part of applying to another D2R program, this survey does not have to be repeated.

Once the online application form and Equity Self-Identification Survey has been completed, the PI must email D2R.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Commercialization%20priming%20program)  to inform the office that you have submitted your application online.

2.1 Document Requirements

Use the template for each document:

2.2 Project Description

Use the template provided. Adhere to the following page limits for the Project Description section.

  • Applications written in English: 7 pages, inclusive of references.
  • Applications written in French: 8 pages, inclusive of references.

Figures and images may be used in the Project Description but must fit within the stated page limit. Appendices are not permitted.

Submissions that exceed the maximum page limit will have the extra pages removed prior to review.

Project Description Instruction

A. Summary (Suggested Length: 0.5 Page in either English or French)

  • Provide an overview of the project's objectives, methods, anticipated outcomes, and potential commercial benefits. Highlight how the project could attract further partnerships and funding.

B. Introduction, Background, and D2R Alignment (Suggested Length: 1 Page in either English or French)

  • Offer background information and context, including prior work related to the discovery, technology, concept, or invention by the Principal Investigator or others. Detail the project's alignment with D2R’s Foundational Axes and strategic priorities, and how the innovation will contribute to D2R's mission.

C. Research Plan (Suggested Length: 3 Pages in English, 4 Pages in French)

  • Outline the primary objective and specific aims, focusing on innovation and potential commercialization. Describe methods, highlighting approaches and expected deliverables. Discuss potential contributions, unique aspects for marketability, and the experimental plan.
  • Explain how Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) factors have been integrated into the research design and the intersections of factors (including but not limited to sex, gender, physical ability, Indigeneity, race, and age). If EDI considerations are not applicable, provide an evidence-based rationale. Note: To learn more about integrating EDI into research design refer to resources from NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC.

D. Research Team (Suggested Length: 0.5 Page in either English or French)

  • Describe the research team, individual expertise, contributions, and current partners.

E. Commercialization Strategy (Suggested Length: 1 Page in either English or French)

  • Describe the current stage of the technology's development (from conceptualization, proof of concept established, prototype, to invention).
  • Indicate if the technology has been published in any form, and how this affects its commercialization potential.
  • Outline what key objectives need to be completed for the technology to be ready for commercialization, including the required timeline.
  • Explain how the proposed activities will advance the technology to a go/no-go scenario for commercial development.
  • Identify the market your technology aims to address.
  • Describe any commercially available products that solve a similar or identical problem.
  • Detail the potential for future funding and partnerships.

F. Budget (Suggested Length: 0.5 Page in either English or French)

  • Justify the need for D2R funding and provide a narrative summary of the budget with justifications for key items.

G. References (Suggested Length: 0.5 Page in either English or French)

  • List works cited, including DOIs where available.

2.3 Biosketches

  • Use the template provided.
  • A biosketch is required for the Principal Investigator, each Co-Investigator, and any Postdoctoral Fellow(s). Biosketches for Collaborators are not required.
  • Compile all biosketches into one PDF file before uploading.

2.4 Budget and Justification

  • Use the Excel template provided.
     

2.5 Reviewer Suggestions

  • Suggestions of external reviewers. Use the Excel template provided.

2.6 Application Submission

Once the online application form and Equity Self-Identification Survey have been completed, the PI must email D2R.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Commercialization%20priming)  to inform the office that you have submitted your application online.

 

3. Evaluation Process and Criteria

3.0 Evaluation Process and Criteria

Following the administrative review of the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)' eligibility, budget appropriateness, and completeness of the application, all applications will be reviewed by a committee of experts in the field (scientific and business) for the following:

Alignment with D2R’s Mission:

  • Alignment with D2R’s mandate, axes, and priorities
  • Alignment with the mandate of the Commercialization Priming funding program

Merit Review:

  • Originality and innovation
  • Capacity of the research plan to carry out the innovation or develop the technology
  • Feasibility of completing the project and specific aims within the timeframe of the proposal
  • Quality and contributions of the researchers to the research
  • Commercial potential

EDI in the research design will be assessed as satisfactory, insufficient, or inadequate. For projects deemed fundable, Principal Investigators will be notified of any issues with EDI in the research design. Applicants will have the opportunity to revise this section, which must be satisfactorily updated and approved before the release of funds.

 

4. Funding Decision and Post Award

4.1 Funding Decision

The D2R Research Steering Committee (RSC) will review the committee’s report, the project's relevance to D2R's strategic goals and the program budget in its funding decisions.

4.2 Announcement of Results

In general, Principal Investigators will be informed of the results by email within two months of the application deadline.

4.3 Notice of Award

Successful applicants will receive a Notice of Award (NoA), which details the terms, conditions, and reporting obligations.

Successful applicants must complete the D2R Award Acceptance Form and McGill University’s Research Funding Checklist within two weeks of receiving the NoA. In addition, awardees must obtain all necessary documentation related to ethics, biohazards, and animal care approvals before funds are disbursed.

 

 

Questions? D2R.Funding [at] mcgill.ca

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