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Two Ontario Centres of Excellence projects the first approved under Ontario-Quebec life sciences research initiative

July 4, 2013

TORONTO - July 4, 2013 - 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. It builds upon two previous pilot projects and existing strengths within the two provinces to increase innovation, productivity, investment and job creation.

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

  • A partnership 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.
  • A partnership between Toronto’s InDanio Biosciences and McGill University in Montreal to advance development of a new drug discovery platform for cancer and metabolic disease therapies.

"These two projects highlight the tremendous potential of the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor and will enhance the reputation of the life sciences industry in Canada's two largest provinces," said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation. "Important collaborations such as these bring new opportunities for innovation, investment and job creation that will benefit all Canadians."

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.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, Ontario Centres of Excellence invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit


About CQDM

CQDM is a meeting ground for all stakeholders in biopharmaceutical research. Its principal mission is to fund research projects carried out in partnership between the academic and private sectors. An innovative Canadian initiative, CQDM has two major goals: to accelerate the drug discovery process and to develop safer and more effective drugs. CQDM is funded through contributions from Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline Inc., Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) and the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie du Québec. For more information:


Media contact:
Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
416-861-1092 x 1022