Presentation of the Strategic Plan
1 Federate and optimize cancer research in Quebec
Create a virtual network to develop and implement measures to accelerate the progress of cancer research in Quebec
1.1 Research Funding
Through competitions, the Oncopole will fund federating and structuring research projects that will capitalize on Quebec’s networks, platforms, resources, expertise and strengths in oncology. The projects funded will have to leverage these assets and thus increase Quebec’s competitiveness at the national and international levels. The projects selected must show that they meet a clinical need and will have a significant impact for patients.
1.2 Increase our capabilities in bioinformatics
As with several areas of research, cancer research generates a considerable amount of data. Bioinformatics has become a cutting-edge discipline essential to scientific progress.
Following consultations with the scientific community, the Oncopole, in collaboration with the FRQS, would like to support the training of doctoral students in Quebec in this discipline.
Cancer research is increasingly dependent on access to human biological materials and the quality of associated clinical data. However, this information is rarely coded in a form that is conducive to analysis, whether it is to assess the patient’s pathway, the care obtained or to provide relevant clinical indicators for the diagnosis, treatment and progression of the disease. In addition, samples and clinical information are often fragmented and can be collected according to different standards across Quebec hospital research centres.
Through the creation of the Montreal Cancer Consortium by the Terry Fox Research Institute, the Oncopole is investing in the optimization and development of the ATiM open source software for databases, developed over the past 10 years by the Cancer Research Network and its partners, which is already in place in several biobanks in Quebec.
1.4 Clinical research
Clinical research is an integral part of quality care. It leads to significant progress in the fight against cancer, including giving access to new treatment options to patients with advanced or metastatic cancer.
The Oncopole aims to establish strategic partnerships with organizations with complementary missions. These partnerships must allow the development of new activities that will benefit health care institutions, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions, as well as government bodies and the Quebec population.
2 Facilitating entrepreneurship and the valorization of innovation
The Oncopole works with centres of excellence, academia, technology transfer organizations and venture capital to foster the emergence and accelerate the progress of entrepreneurship and the valorization of innovation in oncology in Quebec
2.1 Training: Provide business skills to emerging researchers
A solid academic education combined with business skills can become an important asset for young people interested in an entrepreneurial profile.
For this reason, in partnership with stakeholders from industry and academia in the life sciences, the Oncopole aims to enable researchers to familiarize themselves with the development stages of an innovative company, from the laboratory to the market, through current management models that apply both to the stage of research/development and to the commercialization of the innovation.
2.2 Support and funding of valorization projects
During the consultations that led to the creation of the Oncopole, researchers expressed the need to obtain support to determine the commercial potential of their innovations: how to determine competitiveness, market attractiveness, the ability to develop attractive intellectual property or identify the most relevant commercialization path.
The programs implemented will accelerate early cancer projects from Quebec universities and fill the gap in specialized industry expertise and funding for early necessary steps such as validation or maturation studies up to the proof of concept.
3 Accelerate the integration of innovations into the health care system
The Oncopole wishes to work in partnership with key stakeholders in the field in order to develop the best approaches to optimize the integration of innovative therapies and care into the health care system.
The objective is to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies within the health care system that meet expressed needs and whose added value has been rigorously demonstrated.
4 Engaging patients
It is increasingly recognized that patients provide substantial and relevant information for the challenges they face on their path to cancer recovery. In the Oncopole’s extensive consultation process, there was a clear call to engage patients in setting priorities.
The Oncopole is committed to developing and implementing a patient engagement strategy based on best practices in order to establish a patient-partner committee that will have a concrete and dynamic role in the Oncopole’s initiatives.
5 Driving the scientific community
The Oncopole would like to support and encourage the outreach and mobilization of the cancer research community by contributing financially to the organization of events that are in line with its mission.