About the Program

Building the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs and innovators

The Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) is partnering with District 3 Innovation Centre to launch an immersive program aiming to transform Québec's researchers into innovation leaders and entrepreneurs. This initiative is a potential game changer for Québec and Canada’s researchers and the economy as a whole.

Objectives of the program

Paving the way for scientists to bring their research to market

After 4 years of supporting over 500 innovators and entrepreneurs District 3 puts the spotlight on PhD-led startups. Startups leveraging technologies developed in university research labs have potential for scaling and generating great economic impact. Québec is noticeably resourceful on core innovation vectors, including the number of graduate students, R&D funding and entrepreneurial support. Despite the available opportunities, the conversion rate of PhD and postdoc researchers into entrepreneurs in Canada is less than 1%, while it has the potential to reach 10%, similar to Boston and other startup hubs.

District 3 has designed and tested a program with the purpose of reaching into Québec’s research units

identifying those researchers who have interests in innovation, training and joining the entrepreneurship and innovation community. It needs to be mentioned that objectives of this initiative are not in opposition with fundamental research. This initiative is a complement for bringing basic research from the lab bench to the market.

The program is expected to have an instrumental impact on the researcher community, by:

  • - Facilitating go-to-market for newly developed technologies Growing partnership opportunities between research labs and industries
  • - Creating jobs relevant to the skills and knowledge of PhD graduates
  • - Driving investments into Quebec’s companies
  • - Activating an entrepreneurial culture among researchers and graduate students