30 grants of $ 10,000 to start a research project - Esplanade Québec
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Accelerate the development of your innovation through research

Application deadline: November 25, 2022

⚠ This call for projects has been closed. To stay in touch, check out our newsletters! (They’re in French, tough.)

$ 10,000 to start a research project

Esplanade Québec joins forces with the Fonds de recherche du Québec to support entrepreneurial and scientific innovation in Québec, thanks to the new Programme Allier Science et Entrepreneuriat d’Impact.


This grant program will allow 30 Quebec startups to initiate or pursue new collaborative projects with Quebec researchers.

In partnership with


Call for applications

October 13 to November 25, 2022

Program Information Session


November 25, 2022 to January 27, 2023

Coaching session

February 8, 2023

Final jury

February 13 to 17, 2023

Awarding event

February / March 2023

The collaboration between impact entrepreneurship and research to multiply mutual benefits and innovate!

For entrepreneurs, it is…

  The opportunity to collaborate with experts in their impact sectors, who know their specificities and possibilities

  The benefit of access to cutting-edge knowledge and recent data on their fields of action

The prospect of increasing the efficiency of their impact enterprise

For the researchers, it is…

The benefit of carrying a research project through to deployment with users or beneficiaries of the organization with which they are collaborating

A fresh perspective on their research, thanks to interactions with the user community

 The opportunity to work on innovative projects that have concrete social and environmental impacts in our societies

The program is divided into 2 parts

Part 1
Initiation to research


15 grants of $10,000 will be offered to startups that have never carried out concrete research projects. The objective of this section of the call is to introduce a new audience of startups to the practice of collaboration with research.

Part 2

New research project


15 grants of $10,000 will be offered to startups that have already collaborated with researchers in the course of their activities, and that wish to undertake new collaborative projects.

Eligibility & General Information

What are the objectives of the program?

The program aims to encourage collaboration between the research community and startups, and more specifically :

to make Quebec research expertise accessible and to promote the scientific approach in the entrepreneurial environment in Quebec

to strengthen the capacity for innovation and increase the societal impact of research in Quebec

to create an innovative collaborative model between research and entrepreneurship

to increase the social and environmental impact of startups in Quebec

Who is eligible?

This program is for you if :

  You have an entrepreneurial project, whether you are incorporated as an NPO, cooperative or corporation (inc.)

  The main team of your startup, including the founder (or the persons carrying the project), is located in Quebec.

You are not yourself a researcher or a research professional affiliated with a Quebec research institution (Centre collégial de transfert de technologie, university, research center funded by the FRQ or the Quebec government, etc.). Research assistants and students are accepted if their project does not involve a research collaboration with their employer.

    Your company was registered after November 25, 2017.

   You are or have been accompanied by a business incubator or accelerator (minimum of 10 hours of support in a program with a selection process)

   Your project proposes an innovative, efficient and realistic solution to a social or environmental problem, and fits our definition of impact entrepreneurship

In addition,

For part 1 – Research Initiation

   Your startup has never developed a project with a researcher or researchers using a scientific approach (you will have to sign a form attesting to this)

  You wish to start a research project to accelerate the development of your innovative solution

For part 2 – New research project

   Your startup has already developed one or more projects with a researcher or researchers, according to a scientific approach, in order to advance your innovative solution

   You wish to start a new research project, with these same researchers or with different researchers

What is the selection process?

The selection process is divided into 2 phases:

  Pre-selection phase: a first selection will be made upon receipt of application files. The applications will be analyzed according to the eligibility criteria and the selection criteria.

Pitch selection phase: the 50 pre-selected projects (25 per stream) will be invited to present their pitch before an independent jury made up of researchers and specialists from different sectors related to the call for applications. Following these pitches, the jury will meet to select the 30 winners of the two streams.

What are the selection criteria?
  1. Quality, feasibility and scope of the research project

  Clarity, relevance and scope* of the objectives in relation to the identified research needs

 Feasibility and realism of the deliverables so that the research results can be used by the startup at the end of the project

*The objectives go beyond market research or impact analysis of an entrepreneurial solution.

2. Potential for integration of the research approach


The research project envisages a real networking between the research and entrepreneurship communities including :

  the identification of common objectives and a common research problem between researchers and entrepreneurs

  the presentation of the availability of resources dedicated to the project

  1. Scope of anticipated spin-offs


Potential spin-offs or deliverables* from this partnership:

  Benefits to the startup: increased future capacity, strategic benefits to the business model, increased awareness of the research community and its opportunities, etc.

  Stimulating effect on research in Quebec: valorization of research, better integration of discoveries, potential for new collaborations in the future, etc.

 Benefits for the user communities and for Quebec: increase in innovative ideas and improvement of the quality of life, valorization of research data, etc.

* Scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, aesthetic, etc. benefits

What are the eligible expenses?

In keeping with the objectives of the program, the $10,000 grant must be used to fund expenses directly related to the conduct of the proposed research project. All of the funds allocated must therefore go to the research center or organization with which you are partnering. Eligible expenses are as follows

Costs related to the remuneration and benefits of research personnel directly involved in the project according to the scales in effect at the managing institution or organization, if applicable

 Scholarships, supplements and salary support for students (CEGEP or university) and post-doctoral fellows

 Costs related to the purchase of or access to data banks

 Costs related to the use of equipment or premises necessary for the realization of the research project (up to a maximum of 15% of the value of the award)

What is the follow-up process?

It is expected that the 30 selected startup grantees will collaborate with the Esplanade in the follow-up of the project. Twelve months after project completion, startups will also be required to complete a short accountability form.

What are the dates to remember?

Call for applications: October 13 to November 25, 2022

Information session: (held in French) November 1, 2022 > Watch 

Announcement of pre-selected startups: January 2023

Coaching session: February 8, 2023

Selection pitches: February 13-17, 2023

Announcement of winning startups: February 2023

Awarding event: February or March 2023


The coaching session will take the form of a virtual meeting during which the pre-selected startups will be able to receive advice to prepare their pitch. This meeting will be optional.

Part 1

Initiation to research

Part 2

New research project

Need more information?

A virtual information session was held (in French) on Thursday, November 1 at noon. 

You can also ask your questions to Laure Painchaud,

project manager at l’Esplanade, at [email protected].