The intersectoral Audace and Audace Luxembourg programs are back, and the Fonds have pledged to support new high-risk and atypical projects driven by intersectoral networking that could generate radically innovative knowledge and considerable potential benefits. Additional funding for intersectoral research was also made available through the increased sums granted to the Québec Network for Research on Aging, the Vers une société inclusive initiative, the International Observatory on the Societal impacts of AI and Digital Technology and the Réseau inondations intersectoriel du Québec.
The Directorate of Societal Challenges has also been mandated to strengthen and roll-out programs dedicated to collaborative research, citizen science and links between researchers and social stakeholders. With that in mind, the Engagement and Dialogue (student and researcher components) programs will now be offered on an annual basis and fall under the theme of a fourth societal challenge: science and society.
In addition, the Québec Scientific Entrepreneurship Program and the Programme de stage en société d’investissement were renewed in partnership with V1Studio and Front Row Venture to increase the awareness of new researchers of the scientific career opportunities in the sector. The Directorate of Societal Challenges has also joined forces with Esplanade to encourage businesses focused on social innovation and the environment to cooperate with the research community.