Major Partnerships

Commercialization of research results and valuable technologies developed using D2R or complementary funding is a major translational focus of the D2R Initiative, as is advancing discoveries into market-ready products, services, and policies. To achieve these goals, D2R aims for robust involvement of various stakeholders throughout the research process, including industry, investment communities, government and public funders, and not-for-profit organizations. D2R’s Major Partnerships Program provides funding to facilitate the engagement of external partners who are uniquely positioned in the translational and commercialization landscape.

This program offers two distinct funding streams and flexibility to accommodate the versatile nature of interactions in the translational and commercialization space. The program aims to support co-funding of D2R researchers and associated projects with different types of partners by providing a 1:1 cash match or greater (depending on leveraging) for specific projects. The Major Partnerships program accepts proposals at any time. Awarded projects may be implemented on a schedule that considers the partners’ or co-funders’ needs.

Key Objectives of the Major Partnerships Program

  • Developing Partnerships: Collaborate with industry partners to develop a technology or other commercially valuable asset, or to facilitate the integration of this asset to generate translational outcomes. Industry funding can be formalized through a research grant, sponsored research agreement or other type of agreement with McGill.
  • Advancing Technologies: Aims to advance ideas, research project or existing technology to stages attractive for licensing, where industry partners or a spinoff company are willing to license any intellectual property developed by McGill its partners, or a spinoff company is established.
  • Leveraging External Funding: The Major Partnerships Program can match external programs that support commercialization and rely on both an industry partner and a government funding.
  • Others: The Major Partnership Program can also co-fund other forms of research partnerships that would bring commercial and translational value to the D2R Initiative.
  • Academic Asset Linkage: All technologies, commercially valuable assets, and other academic resources involved must be linked to McGill University. The project can be based on existing McGill intellectual property (IP), but not on scenarios where the IP was returned to the inventor through a transfer of rights. The project can also commence without existing McGill IP but note that all IP developed during the project, including any intellectual property developed jointly with Co-Investigators from our Partner Institutions, must be reported to McGill and Partner Institutions (if applicable) and will be made available for commercial use through licensing.
Application Process

Both funding streams follow a two-stage application process:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI): Open to all eligible applicants via an online form. This initial step ensures that approved projects are in alignment with D2R’s mission.
  • Full Application: By invitation only, following a successful LOI. Projects proceed to detailed evaluation and peer review by a committee of science and business experts.
Eligibility

Principal Investigator (PI)

  • 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) 

  • 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 provided by the partner institutions and approved by D2R. Contact d2r.funding [at] mcgill.ca 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 partners, 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

  • Partner Organizations contribute cash to support the proposed research. Researchers from these partners may play key roles in joint research and development of the technologies. In such cases, a biosketch may be included for a key researcher.
  • Partners may also provide in-kind support to demonstrate their commitment to the project, but this will not be leveraged by D2R funding.

Limitations

  • 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.
Award value per project

The maximum D2R funding is $500,000 total per project, for up to three years. This applies to projects under both streams.

 

D2R Major Partnerships Program Call Description

1. About the Major Partnerships Program

1.1 About the Major Partnerships Program

Commercialization of research results and valuable technologies developed using D2R or complementary funding is a major translational focus of the D2R Initiative, as is advancing discoveries into market-ready products, services, and policies. To achieve these goals, D2R aims for robust involvement of various stakeholders throughout the research process, including industry, investment communities, government and public funders, and not-for-profit organizations. D2R’s Major Partnerships Program provides funding to facilitate the engagement of external partners who are uniquely positioned in the translational and commercialization landscape.

This program offers two distinct funding streams and flexibility to accommodate the versatile nature of interactions in the translational and commercialization space. The program aims to support co-funding of D2R researchers and associated projects with different types of partners by providing a 1:1 cash match or greater (depending on leveraging) for specific projects. The Major Partnerships program accepts proposals at any time. Awarded projects may be implemented on a schedule that considers the partners’ or co-funders’ needs.

Key Objectives of the Major Partnerships Program

  • Developing Partnerships: Collaborate with industry partners to develop a technology or other commercially valuable asset, or to facilitate the integration of this asset to generate translational outcomes. Industry funding can be formalized through a research grant, sponsored research agreement or other type of agreement with McGill.
  • Advancing Technologies: Aims to advance ideas, research project or existing technology to stages attractive for licensing, where industry partners or a spinoff company are willing to license any intellectual property developed by McGill its partners, or a spinoff company is established.
  • Leveraging External Funding: The Major Partnerships Program can match external programs that support commercialization and rely on both an industry partner and a government funding.
  • Others: The Major Partnership Program can also co-fund other forms of research partnerships that would bring commercial and translational value to the D2R Initiative.
  • Academic Asset Linkage: All technologies, commercially valuable assets, and other academic resources involved must be linked to McGill University. The project can be based on existing McGill intellectual property (IP), but not on scenarios where the IP was returned to the inventor through a transfer of rights. The project can also commence without existing McGill IP but note that all IP developed during the project, including any intellectual property developed jointly with Co-Investigators from our Partner Institutions, must be reported to McGill and Partner Institutions (if applicable) and will be made available for commercial use through licensing.

1.2 Program Streams & Application Process

Stream 1: One-to-One Cash Leverage

  • Allows investigators to collaborate closely with one or more industry partners.
  • Matches industry partner contributions up to $500k per project for direct cost of research.

Stream 2: Consortium Funding

  • Leveraging External Funding: This stream aims to match funding provided by external programs that support commercialization and which rely on both an industry partner and government funding. These include, but are not limited to, programs available through CQDM (a research consortium facilitating biopharma innovation); MEDTEQ+ (a consortium for health innovation through medical technologies); Mitacs (industry-partnered research and innovation training) or any other agency, foundation, or philanthropic organization that supports innovation in the commercial space.
  • Offers co-funding of up to $500K per project, to maximize support offered by other funders for a potentially higher ratio of public to industry partner funds.

* Cash contributions from industry partners must include 27% indirect costs (which is not leveraged).

1.2.1 Application Process

Both funding streams follow a two-stage application process:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI): Open to all eligible applicants via an online form. This initial step ensures that approved projects are in alignment with D2R’s mission.
  • Full Application: By invitation only, following a successful LOI. Projects proceed to detailed evaluation and peer review by a committee of science and business experts.

1.3 Applicant 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 provided by the partner institutions and approved by D2R. Contact d2r.funding [at] mcgill.ca 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 partners, 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

  • Partner Organizations contribute cash to support the proposed research. Researchers from these partners may play key roles in joint research and development of the technologies. In such cases, a biosketch may be included for a key researcher.
  • Partners may also provide in-kind support to demonstrate their commitment to the project, but this will not be leveraged by D2R funding.

Limitations

  • 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.

1.4 Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses include salaries and benefits of research trainees and personnel, stipends, materials and supplies, small equipment, travel, and service contracts. For additional information, refer to the CFREF Administration Guide.

1.5 D2R Funding per Project

The maximum D2R funding is $500,000 total per project, for up to three years. This applies to projects under both streams.

1.6 Intellectual Property (IP) Management

D2R will require an agreement to be in place prior to releasing funds. Intellectual Property ownership will follow institutional policies and relevant IP can be licensed to industry partners for commercial use.

All activities must adhere to McGill’s Policy on Inventions and Software and that of any partner institution involved.

 

2. Stream 1 Instructions: One-to-One Cash Leverage

2.1 Letter of Intent (LOI)

An LOI package consists of an online form and supporting documents to upload. Use the templates provided, where indicated.

Documents to Upload

Other Requirements

The PI must complete the Equity Self-Identification Survey before submitting an LOI to this program, if not already completed by the PI as part of applying to another D2R program.

2.1.1 Letter of Intent Instructions

Use the template provided. In a maximum of 2 pages in English or 2.5 pages in French, address the following:

A. Alignment with D2R’s Mission
B. Description of the key approach, the experimental plan, innovation and novelty
C. Team and Partnerships
D. Potential Commercial Outcome

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

2.1.2 Biosketches

  • Use the template provided.
  • A biosketch is required for the Principal Investigator and all Co-Investigators.
  • Biosketches for Collaborators are not required but may be added if desired.
  • Compile all biosketches into one PDF file before uploading.

2.1.3 Letter of Intent Evaluation Process and Criteria

Administrative Review

Each submission will be reviewed for the team members’ eligibility, and LOI completion.

LOI Evaluation

All eligible LOIs will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with D2R’s mission
  • Innovation and Novelty
  • Team and Partnerships
  • Potential Commercial Outcome

LOI Notification

All applicants will be informed of the LOI evaluation outcomes via email within four to six weeks of submission.

Applicants invited to submit a full application will receive comments outlining any specific items that should be addressed in the full application.

2.2 Full Application (by invitation only)

The Principal Investigator must prepare the documents detailed below and submit the application via the online form.

Notify D2R.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Major%20Partnerships%20program) of your submission.

2.2.1 Document Requirements

Templates will be provided upon invitation to submit a full application.

  • Project Description
  • Updated Biosketches
  • Budget & Justification
  • Timelines and Milestones
  • Reviewer Suggestions
  • Letter(s) of Commitment from industry Partners

 

2.2.2 Project Description

A template will be provided upon invitation.

Adhere to the following page limits for the Project Description.

  • 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 Instructions

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.

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 your research design, refer to resources from the NSERC, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and EDI in research design.
  • Describe the involvement and contribution of partner organization(s)

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 idea, proof of concept established, prototype, to invention). Include the report of invention (ROI) number and/or patent application number, if applicable.
  • Indicate if the technology has been published or disclosed 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 project 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 D2R 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.

2.2.3 Biosketch

  • Use the template provided.
  • A biosketch is required for the Principal Investigator and all Co-Investigators.
  • Biosketch for a key researcher from Partners may be included (see section 1.3), if desired.
  • Biosketches for Collaborators are not required.
  • Compile all biosketches into 1 PDF.

2.2.4 Budget and Justification

2.2.5 Timelines and Milestones

2.2.6 Reviewer Suggestions

2.2.7 Letter(s) of Commitment from Industry Partners

A Letter of Commitment should come from the industry partner, not an individual, and demonstrate either an existing partnership or a strong interest in forming a partnership within the short term, for the purpose of the proposed research. A Letter of Commitment must indicate a cash contribution should the project be awarded, along with relevant in-kind contributions.

2.2.8 Application submission

All required documents must be submitted via online form. PIs must notify D2R.Funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Major%20Partnerships%20program%20application) of their submission.

2.3 Full Application Process and Criteria

The full application will undergo an 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 Major Partnerships 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.

2.4 Funding Decision and Post Award

2.4.1 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.

2.4.2 Announcement of Results

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

2.4.3 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. Awardees must obtain all necessary documentation related to ethics, biohazards, and animal care approvals before funds are disbursed.

The involved parties will also be required to sign a research agreement outlining the terms of the project before funds are disbursed.

 

3. Stream 2 Instructions: Consortium Funding

3.0 Stream 2 Instructions: Consortium Funding

This stream has two stages:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI): Open to all eligible applicants, via an online form The LOI is submitted directly to D2R.
  • Full application: By invitation only. The full application is a copy of the application that is submitted to other funders. The PI must send a copy of the final submission to D2R.Funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Major%20Partnerships%20Program)

3.1 Letter of Intent (LOI)

Due Date

For external funders which have set deadlines for their programs (including CQDM and MEDTEQ+), Letters of Intent must be submitted to the D2R office a minimum of six weeks before the external funder’s deadline.

For funders like Mitacs without fixed deadlines, LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis.

An LOI package consists of an online form and specific documents to upload. Use the templates provided, where indicated. Combine Biosketches into one PDF (maximum size 10 MB) prior to uploading.

Documents to Upload

Other Requirements

The PI must complete the Equity Self-Identification Survey before submitting an LOI to this program. If the survey has already been completed by the PI as part of applying to another D2R program, this survey does not have to be done again.

3.1.1 Letter of Intent Instructions

Use the template provided. In a maximum of 2 pages in English or 2.5 pages in French, provide details each of the following:

A. Alignment with D2R’s Mission
B. Outline of Key Approach, Experimental Plan and Novelty
C. Team and Partnerships
D. Potential Commercial Outcome

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

3.1.2 Biosketches

  • Use the template provided.
  • A biosketch is required for the Principal Investigator and all Co-Investigators.
  • Biosketch for a key researcher from Partners may be included (see section 1.3), if desired.
  • Biosketches for Collaborators are not required.
  • Compile all biosketches into 1 PDF prior to uploading.

3.1.3 Letter of Intent Evaluation Process and Criteria

Administrative Review

Each submission will be reviewed for the team members’ eligibility, and application completion.

LOI Evaluation

All eligible LOIs will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with D2R’s mission
  • Innovation and Novelty
  • Team and Partnerships
  • Potential Commercial Outcome

LOI Notification

All applicants will be informed of the LOI evaluation outcomes via email within four weeks of submission.

Successful applicants will be invited to submit application(s) to other funders with a conditional commitment of D2R co-funding. Applicants will receive a report outlining any specific items that should be addressed in the application(s) to other funders.

3.2 Full Application (by invitation only)

The full application is submitted to another funder. A copy of the submission must be sent to D2R.Funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Major%20Partnerships%20program) at the time of the submission.

The Principal Investigator should follow the application and submission instructions as well as the general rules and regulations provided by the other public funder(s) (e.g. CQDM, MEDTEQ+, Mitacs).

For support with these applications and to submit McGill University’s mandatory Research Funding Checklist, PIs must contact D2R.funding [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Major%20Partnerships)  instead of McGill University’s Office of Innovation + Partnerships. The budget submitted to other funders must include the D2R co-funding conditionally committed in the LOI notification stage.

3.3 Evaluation Process

As Stream 2 (Consortium Funding) involves an application to an external funder, that external funder’s evaluation process will prevail. PIs must keep the D2R office informed on the status of their application(s) to other funders.

3.4 Funding Decision and Post-Award, Stream 2: Consortium Funding

3.4.1 Funding Decision

D2R will coordinate with the other public funders for the scientific review and decision, ensuring that all requirements and agreements are in place.

Successful applicants will receive a D2R 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.

3.4.2 Post-Award and Fund Opening

In addition to any agreements required by the other funder(s), D2R will require a research agreement in place prior to the start of a funded project.

Once the required agreements are in place and the awardee has provided all necessary documentation related to ethics, biohazards, and animal care approvals, funds will be disbursed to the awardee as per the agreed upon schedule.

 

Questions? D2R.Funding [at] mcgill.ca

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