As High Risk/High Reward (HR/HR) funding becomes increasingly widespread in Europe and elsewhere, it is important that the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) provide a funding opportunity for unconventional and innovative projects: intersectoral initiatives of an exploratory nature that dare to break with established frameworks and patterns of thought and have the potential to radically transform research and creation.
That is why the Chief Scientist of Québec established Audace, a non-theme-based intersectoral funding program to support bold, risky projects with high impact potential. The bar is high: the program targets projects that explore new fields of knowledge and establish unlikely or unusual collaboration between different domains of research; in short, projects that do not readily fall within the scope of regular sector-based funding programs.
The program’s terms and conditions are also unconventional, involving a five-page application form, an international evaluation committee, and a two-page CV.
With the pilot’s great success in 2017, the program is now ongoing for the Direction of Societal Challenges and Intersectoral Networking, with an annual call for proposals.