Common Rules and Regulations
Québec's three funding agencies, hereinafter called Agency
or Agencies, are tasked to see to the strategic and coherent development
of research, provide funding for research, promote the dissemination of
knowledge and researcher training, and establish the partnerships required
for carrying out their mission in their respective fields. Together, they
contribute to creating a genuine knowledge-based society recognized for
the excellence of its researchers and the quality of its research achievements.
The Presidents and Executive Directors of the Agencies, committed to fostering joint action among their respective organizations, have signed a collaboration agreement that defines the guidelines for joint initiatives and ensures synergy of the action undertaken and harmonization of the means employed for this purpose.
This, therefore, is the purpose of the Common Rules and Regulations of Québec's Agencies. These Common Rules and Regulations have also been harmonized as fully as possible with those of Canada's federal granting councils and apply to all Agency programs, although some have special requirements of their own.
The Act Respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation (R.S.Q., c. M-30.01) defines the Agencies' mandates as follows:
Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec
-Promote and provide financial support for all areas of research in the field of health, including basic, clinical and epidemiological research, research in the field of public health and research in the field of health services;
-Promote and provide financial support for the dissemination of scientific knowledge in fields of health research;
-Promote and provide financial support for the training of researchers through achievement scholarships to graduate and postgraduate students and to persons who engage in postdoctoral research;
-Create any necessary partnership, in particular with universities, colleges and health care institutions, and the government departments and public and private bodies concerned.
Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies
-Promote and provide financial support for research in the fields of natural sciences, mathematical sciences and engineering;
-Promote and provide financial support for the dissemination of scientific knowledge in fields of research related to natural sciences, mathematical sciences and engineering;
-Promote and provide financial support for the training of researchers through achievement scholarships to graduate and postgraduate students and to persons who engage in postdoctoral research, and through grants that allow the teaching duties of college level professors engaging in research activities to be reduced;
-Create any necessary partnership, in particular with universities, colleges and the industry, and the government departments and public and private bodies concerned.
Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture
-Promote and provide financial support for the development of research in the fields of social and human sciences, fine arts and literature;
-Promote and provide financial support for the dissemination of knowledge in fields of research related to social and human sciences, fine arts and literature;
-Promote and provide financial support for the training of researchers through achievement scholarships to graduate and postgraduate students and to persons who engage in postdoctoral research, and through grants that allow the teaching duties of college level professors engaging in research activities to be reduced;
-Create any necessary partnership, in particular with universities, colleges and cultural institutions, and the government departments and public and private bodies concerned.
Board of Directors
Each Agency has its own Board of Directors. The Board of Directors has final authority and full power to decide on all matters deemed relevant to fulfilling the Agency's mandate.
Support for public-sector research
Grants and awards represent government investments for which the Agencies are accountable. This obliges each Agency to safeguard the public interest, especially regarding management and use of the funds it receives from the Government of Québec. The Agencies do not directly fund basic or applied research in the private sector.
Scientific integrity and research ethics
Groups, centres and research teams and researchers themselves are held to the strictest practices governing research ethics and integrity. The host or trustee institution is responsible for establishing the regulatory framework for research. Any conflict of interest in the execution of research projects or any serious breach of ethics or scientific integrity must be reported by the host institution. If the allegations prove to founded further to investigation, a copy of the conclusions of the report and the corrective measures adopted must be submitted to the Agencies. The Agencies reserve the right to impose any required sanctions.
Research benefits and commercialization
For the good of Québec society, research outcomes, whether knowledge, products or services, must be disseminated and new knowledge must be transferred to the public. Institutions and researchers are responsible for commercializing their research outcomes.
Protection of intellectual property
The Agencies deal with public funds, meaning that new knowledge, technology
and services derived through those investments are subject to Québec's
Action Plan for Managing Intellectual Property in Universities and Institutions
of the Health and Social Service Network Where Research Activities Are
Conducted. Consequently, they cannot claim any ownership of intellectual
property and must turn all royalties over to the public host institutions,
provided those institutions meet their own obligation to claim research
benefits on the public's behalf. Researchers, students, universities and
affiliated institutions receiving grants from the Agencies expressly agree
to abide by the principles of the Action Plan.
To qualify for financial support from an Agency, applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements, as well as any special conditions applicable to certain programs.
1.1 Applicant citizenship and place of residence
A grant applicant or career award applicant (scholar, research Chair) must be a Canadian citizen within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001, c. 27, or permanent resident or provide proof, upon disbursement of the grant, that a permanent resident application has been submitted to the proper authorities.
An applicant for a master's or doctoral research award or a postdoctoral research award must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and, as of the competition closing date, a resident of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act and the Regulation respecting eligibility and registration of persons in respect of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec. However, in the case of the FRSQ postdoctoral awards program, foreign applications are accepted.
An applicant who maintains Québec resident status within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act and the Regulation respecting eligibility and registration of persons in respect of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec and who sojourns outside Québec solely for study purposes is considered to be a Québec resident. Applicants who previously spent five or more years domiciled and residing in Québec, as defined in the Health Insurance Act, but have sojourned outside Québec for less than two years, are exempt from Québec domicile and residency requirements at the time they submit an application.
1.2 Applicant status
Researcher status is recognized for applicants who have a doctoral degree
(or the equivalent) and have a regular position as a professor/teacher
or researcher in a Québec university or college or else have a regular
position as a researcher in an institution within Québec's health and
social services network. At the FRSQ, researcher status is also recognized
for doctoral holders with the title of researcher within a Québec university
or a health and social services institution leading to a faculty position
in a Québec university.
Individuals with a professional degree must have completed at least two years of full-time research training. Clinical investigators must have received basic academic training and have a degree in the discipline in which they practise their profession. They also need a valid license to practise in Québec.
Researcher-creator status is also recognized for applicants who are regular faculty members of a Québec university or college, conduct creative or interpretative research as part of their employment and have their institution's authorization to supervise creative research projects and graduate students.
Student status is recognized for applicants enrolled in a university master's or doctoral degree program, normally full time.
Fellow status is recognized for applicants enrolled in postdoctoral training in a university postdoctoral research program, normally full time.
Only applicants with researcher status may apply for a grant as a principal investigator or co-investigator. In addition, for funding purposes, applicants cannot have researcher and student or fellow status simultaneously.
1.3 Parental, medical or care leave and nurturing leave
Applicants who interrupt their studies or research work to take parental leave for a birth or adoption, sick leave, or leave to care for a close relative may request an extension of their eligibility period up to the maximum time allowed by the Act respecting labour standards (R.S.Q., c. N-1.1). In such cases, applicants must provide the Agency with an attestation of the circumstances.
1.4 Maximum duration of public funding for graduate studies
Every applicant having student status may receive financial support in the form of merit scholarships from the Agencies or from accredited granting organizations or foundations that award merit scholarships equalling or exceeding those awarded by the Agencies, for a maximum duration of 15 semesters, or five years.
1.5 Other Eligibility Requirement
Researchers who are responsible for a grant from one of the Agencies and who have not submitted their final research report or the required financial reports to the Agency within the prescribed time may not submit a new grant application to any of the Agencies until they have met this requirement.
2. Submission of Applications
All requests for financial support must be made on the appropriate
application form, which is available on Agencies web sites. Applicants
complete the electronic form, including the necessary attachments, which
must also be sent online. Since the form is sent electronically, e-transaction
guidelines apply. When completing the form, applicants are asked to indicate
the research field under which they believe their application should be
2.1 Applicant's responsibility
Applicants bear full responsibility for their application package and must see that it is complete and meets all requirements of the desired program. They must also be familiar with the programs and their respective requirements. In case of doubt, they should contact their institution's research office or the Agencies.
2.2 Responsibility of signing parties
By submitting a funding application, an individual, health care institution or teaching institution agrees to comply with the policies, rules and regulations, conditions, standards, rate schedules, and administrative and scientific requirements established by the Agencies to govern the use of their grants and awards.
2.3 False or misleading information
Under the Act Respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation (R.S.Q., c. M-30.01),
any applicant who gives false or misleading information to obtain or procure
financial support is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine. If found
guilty, the individual is barred from receiving financial support for
a five-year period.
Where a legal entity commits an offence, any of its directors or representatives who knew about the offence are considered to be parties to the offence and are also subject to a fine, unless they prove to the court's satisfaction that they did not agree with the commission of the offence.
The Agencies have the right to impose any penalty or take any additional measures they deem expedient. They may also take legal action to recover fraudulently obtained funds and collect damages.
2.4 Choosing the right agency
Applications for operating grants are submitted to one of the Agencies on the basis of the research topic. (Agency's research areas, in French) Researchers may hold operating grants from more than one Agency if their research areas concern different Agencies but, individually or as members of a group, can receive only one infrastructure grant from the Agencies, except for those granted jointly by two or three Agencies. However, researchers may divide their time equally between two major facilities funded by one of the Agencies if warranted by the nature of their research, provided no double funding occurs. This exception applies exclusively to the following programs: Groups and centres (FRSQ), Strategic clusters (FQRSC and FQRNT) and Infrastructure support (FQRSC).
Applicants are responsible for sending their application package to the appropriate Agency, as determined by the Agency mandate. The Agencies reserve the right to share information about submitted and funded applications and, where applicable, to transfer applications submitted to the inappropriate Agency to the appropriate one.
Individual members of a research group may have an infrastructure grant from only one Agency.
Students may apply for and hold an award from only one Agency.
2.5 Submission requirements
Some programs require the submission of specific documents (e.g. letters
of endorsement and support or academic transcripts) by mail. All necessary
documents must be hand-delivered or mailed to the Agency's office on or
before the competition deadline. For documents delivered by mail or messenger,
the official postmark or dated messenger receipt is proof that the document
was sent on time.
2.6 Presentation requirements
Any part of an application description or bibliography that exceeds the
allowable number of pages, appendices included, will be removed from the
application package submitted for evaluation. No document received after
the deadline and no unrequired attachment in the package will be forwarded
to the evaluation committee.
2.7 Language of application and attachments
Applications for financial support may be written in English or French. However, the project title and abstract must be submitted in French. Any document not submitted in English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation in one of these two languages.
2.8 Research ethics boards and animal care committees
Every project involving human subjects or human body parts, products, tissue, cells, genetic material or administrative, scientific or descriptive data from human subjects requires the approval of the research ethics board of the main applicant's institution. Disbursement of the grant is contingent on provision of an ethics certificate and related documents to the Agencies.
Likewise, every project involving animals or animal parts, products or tissues requires the approval of the animal care committee of the applicant's institution. Furthermore, the institution where animal research is carried out must be certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and its decisions must comply with CCAC rules.
The Agencies will see to the investigation of any breaches of ethics in activities involving human or animal subjects to its satisfaction and impose penalties if warranted.
2.9 Non-eligible applications
Although requests for supplementary funding for projects already funded are generally not considered, special conditions may apply, depending on the type of program involved. When an application is deemed ineligible, the Agency gives the reasons why.
2.10 Confirmation of receipt
The Agencies acknowledge receipt of all funding applications. Applicants who do not receive confirmation should contact the Agency concerned.
3. Evaluation of Funding Applications
The Agencies receive applications from researchers, researcher-creators, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. They check the eligibility of those applications and submit them for evaluation by specially formed committees, which recommend funding of applications judged to be scientifically sound.
The evaluation committee's recommendations are submitted to the Board of Directors of the Agency concerned, which then makes the awards. Funding awards and the commitment to continue the funding in subsequent years depend on the size of the annual budgetary appropriations voted by the Québec National Assembly. If need be, the Board of Directors may review and modify or terminate funding without notice.
3.1 Evaluation committee
Scientific evaluation of funding applications is handled by evaluation
committees, which may sometimes need to consult outside experts. Both
peer reviewers and experts may be from Québec, Canada or elsewhere. The
committees examine applications in light of the evaluation criteria for
each program and rank them by order of merit. They also evaluate how well
the budget projections fit the application and make recommendations concerning
the amount of funding needed.
3.2 Integrity of evaluation process
The Agency board members are not involved in the scientific evaluation of funding applications, and at no time may researchers, students or institutional authorities make contact with the evaluation committee chairperson or members. The Agencies have the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any attempt to lobby the committee or sway the evaluation process.
Every person recruited to sit on an evaluation committee must comply
with standard rules of confidentiality regarding the application packages,
committee makeup, deliberations and recommendations. The evaluation committee
chairperson, members and outside experts are required to disclose any
conflicts of interest and must sign a written statement in this regard.
3.3 Funding decisions
The evaluation committee recommendations are submitted to the Board of
Directors of the Agencies, which make the funding decisions. Those decisions
are final and not open to review.
3.4 Grievance procedure
The Agencies cannot interfere with an evaluation mechanism involving the voluntary collaboration of scientists or question scientific evaluations made to the best knowledge of peer committee members. The only grounds Agencies may have for reviewing a committee decision involve some aspect of the evaluation procedure, the Common Rules and Regulations or program compliance.
4. Communication of Competition Results
The Agencies give all applicants written notice that their application has been approved or refused.
4.1 Applicant's notice of acceptance or refusal
Applicants who obtain financial support are required to give written notice of acceptance within 30 days following public announcement of the funding award (or within 30 days after the letter of approval has been sent). Any applicant who fails to meet this requirement within the prescribed time is deemed to have refused the approved grant or award.
4.2 Requests for additional information
Applicants who want more information may contact the Agency concerned.
4.3 Publication of results
The list of award and grant recipients is published on the Agency web
site, normally the week after the Board of Directors has made its decisions.
4.4 Confidentiality of documents and protection of personal and confidential information
The Agencies give top priority to document confidentiality (funding applications, evaluation reports, names of internal and external evaluators) and protection of the personal information they come across in the course of their mandates. Any information thus obtained by the Agencies is treated in strictest confidence and disclosed only as prescribed by the Act respecting access to documents held by publics bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q., c. A-2.1), by the Act to establish a legal framework for information technology (R.S.Q. c. A-1.1) or by court order.
4.5 Agency liability
The Agencies are not liable for any direct or indirect damage stemming from their handling of applications for awards, grants or other funding. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, nor are they liable for any direct or indirect damage stemming from the Agencies' unauthorized disclosure of information in an application package. For, although the Agencies take every precaution to ensure the confidentiality of private information, the necessary safeguards, i.e. public-key cryptography, encryption and other processes, may not be available in certain countries to which the information is forwarded.
5. Reports and Publications
Awardees or grantees must account for the scientific and financial use of appropriations made available to them within the deadline prescribed by the Agencies.
5.1 Acknowledgement of funding received
Awardees or grantees (including those with an infrastructure grant for a group to which they belong) must, in all reports, articles and papers, acknowledge the funding Agency.
5.2 Final research report
A final report on the research activities funded through a grant or award must be submitted within the time prescribed by the Agencies. The time must not exceed 12 months after the anticipated expiry of the grant. If a final research report is not submitted within the prescribed time, no researcher who is party to the grant may receive new funding from the Agencies (see section 1.5 of the Common Rules and Regulations).
The final research report may be written in English or French. If written in English, it must be accompanied by a one-page abstract in French.
5.3 Financial reports
Financial reports must be completed at the times prescribed by the Agencies.
They must be filed on the proper form, using Financial Management Extranet
where applicable, and signed by the person responsible or, in the case
of a research centre or network, by the research director and the trustee
institution's designated administrator.
6. Administration of Funding
The Agencies designate institutions within the health and social services network or education system to act as trustees in managing the Agencies’ grants and awards. In accepting this responsibility, these trustees see to compliance with the rules governing the various funding programs and with the Québec government policy on the management of intellectual property.
6.1 Fiscal year
Grants and awards are made on an annual basis, normally from April 1 to March 31.
6.2 Responsibilities of principal investigator or institution
In agreement with the Agencies, researchers must entrust the administration of their grants to a public organization, usually the researcher's host institution. These organizations, usually universities or university-affiliated institutions, are regarded as trustees and must administer the grants and awards as assets not their own.
6.3 Intellectual property
Institutional researchers receiving financial support must agree to abide by the principles which the Québec government has established in its Action Plan for Managing Intellectual Property in Universities and Institutions of the Health and Social Service Network Where Research Activities Are Conducted.
6.4 Changes during funding period
The Agencies must be advised of any major changes during the funding
period as regards research orientation; the make up of a group, network,
team or centre; a research journal; or knowledge transfer. They will analyze
such changes and may decide to continue funding or, in some cases, reduce, suspend or terminate payment of
6.5 Termination of activities
If a research project or publication of a journal is terminated during the funding period, the person in charge must give the Agency prompt written notice, including the reasons. Grantees who fail to promptly notify the Agency may become ineligible to apply for future funding, and the Agency may require repayment of disbursements.
6.6 Departure of person responsible for grant
Persons responsible for grants who leave their host institution or Québec
(either temporarily, for a sabbatical lasting more than three months,
or permanently) must give prior written notice to the Agencies, which
will take the appropriate measures.
6.7 Ownership of data banks, tissue, cells, DNA and all other material
Upon departure of the person responsible for a bank created through an Agency grant, the bank remains the property of the institution hosting the project researchers, unless an arrangement to the contrary exists between the researchers and the Québec host institutions.
6.8 Ownership of documents, books, resources and equipment
Documents, books and equipment purchased by researchers, or resources such as data banks, DNA, cells or tissue, out of Agency grants remain the property of the researcher's host institution, unless other arrangements have been made between the researcher and the institution in case of relocation. For documents or resources of great monetary or heritage value, the Agencies must be consulted.
6.9 Administration of funding
The trustee institution manages the grants and awards entrusted to it. It disburses payments as prescribed and produces annual financial reports, which it sends to the Agencies within three months after the end of their fiscal year, i.e. by June 30.
6.10 Institutional administrator's responsibilities
The trustee institution is responsible for disbursing the full amount of the Agencies’ grant or award to the recipients.
The Agencies provide the trustee institution with a copy of all business correspondence with funded researchers.
6.11 Transfer of monies during the grant year
During a fiscal year, it is permitted to reapportion grant monies between institutions. In such cases, the investigator responsible, along with the trustee institution, is still accountable to the Agencies for use of the appropriations.
6.12 Unexpended funds
Balances remaining at the end of one budget year may be carried over to the next year for the duration of the grant. The balance remaining upon expiry of the funding period may also be carried over to complete the research activities for which the funds were granted, but only for one more year. After that time, any residual monies are returned to the Agency. In all cases, the amount carried over cannot exceed 25% of the annual grant. Explanations must be provided when more than 25% is carried over.
6.13 Concurrent funding
In any given fiscal year, the investigator responsible for a grant may obtain only one grant through any one program.
Holding concurrent grants for the same project or awards of equivalent value from other public granting organizations or foundations recognized by the Agencies is not permitted. The Agencies work together to avoid double funding of grants and awards and systematically exchange selected information about the applications they receive. Grantees are required to inform the Agencies when they obtain financial support from another source whose funding overlaps with that granted by the Agencies.
Applicants who have sought and obtained an equal or larger grant from another organization for the same research proposal must decline a grant from the Agencies. Where two separate research proposals are involved, the applicant may accept funding, but must show that the proposal submitted to the Agencies can be carried out without recourse to the other grant.
All grants and awards must be posted to the accounts held by the trustee institution, which also keeps the supporting documents on file. The trustee institution is subject to the procedure for auditing accounts and supporting documents, as defined in the Financial Administration Act (R.S.Q., c. A-6.001).
6.15 Violation of rules and regulations
Sums used to pay non-eligible expenses must be refunded to the Agency.
7. Eligible and Non-eligible Expenses
An eligible expense is one directly related to the research project or program and authorized by the program rules and regulations. Thus, Agency grants cover direct expenses relating specifically to research activities. Indirect research expenses incurred for Agency-funded programs or projects must be covered by another source.
The Agencies do not authorize trustee institutions to charge researchers, researcher-creators or students for administering their grants and awards. However, the FRSQ considers fees for the assessment of the ethics of research projects involving human subjects by research ethics boards as eligible expenses.
Any expense not listed as an eligible expense in the Common Rules and Regulations is considered to be non-eligible, unless authorized by the Agencies. Some Agencies may have special requirements which override the Common Rules and Regulations. In case of doubt about the eligibility of expenses, researchers and grantees should contact the grants office of their host institution or the appropriate Agency.
7.1 Remuneration, training and professional fees
-Remuneration and social benefits, where applicable, of research personnel (research professionals, clinical research personnel, research technicians, clerical staff, researchers with no academic affiliation and information professionals), are allowed, as per the trustee institution's wage schedules
-Master's and doctoral training scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and, where applicable, supplements
-Professional artists, consultants and expert advisors as per the fee schedules used by the trustee institution or the public sector
-Guest speakers and reimbursement of their travel expenses
-Training and upgrading for personnel required to use specialized equipment or facilities
-Ethically acceptable sums or compensation paid to research subjects.
-Salaries of senior investigators and co-investigators
-Salary of any person employed by or through an Agency
-Expenses associated with releasing the grantee from teaching or clinical activities to do research
-Professional corporation and association dues, and practice licence fees
-Any severance pay
-Consulting fees among colleagues at Québec universities or institutions.
7.2 Travel and accommodation
-Project-related travel (economy class) and accommodation; funding is limited to the expenses of researchers, their research personnel and students under their supervision and, where applicable, the expenses of research subjects. The expenses of family members are not covered.
-Childcare while a nursing mother is travelling
-Participation in colloquia, science conventions, symposia or seminars, provided the objectives are in line with the funded research objectives, and the project leader or one of the researchers presents a paper or is otherwise actively involved in the event (e.g. chairperson, roundtable participant, facilitator). Proof of participation must be attached to the claim for expenses.
-Selection interviews of students or researchers
-Return travel from the researcher's university to sabbatical location, or commuting between home and workplace or between two workplaces
-Moving of personal goods
-The following expenses are not covered by grants: clothing, passports, immigration expenses, and babysitting or childcare expenses for preschool children.
7.3 Materials, supplies and equipment
-Materials and supplies
directly related to research activities, and transportation expenses,
-Purchase or leasing of equipment required and justified by the project; equipment maintenance, transportation and repair, and extended equipment warranties
-Project safety and security in the field (purchase or leasing of protective equipment, vaccines and medication)
-Upon completion of the research project, the equipment and materials remain the property of the trustee institution
-Workplace layout, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, electricity, housekeeping, waste disposal, water consumption, building renovation or expansion, insurance (including deductibles) and safety, and all indirect research-related expenses for researchers working in a university or affiliated institution
-Purchase, leasing, repair or maintenance of office furniture, furnishings and equipment, e.g. fax machines, filing cabinets and shelves
-Insurance premiums for equipment and vehicles used for the research
7.4 Common research platforms or infrastructure
The Canadian Foundation for Innovation and a number of other funding organizations have enabled common platforms to be established in the research centres and laboratories of Agency-funded researchers. This pooling is a favoured means of supporting cutting-edge research that contributes significantly to enhancing the competitiveness of Québec researchers. However, these platforms, often consisting of specialized equipment or a specific combination of equipment and resources, not only mean high purchase costs but also hefty operating and maintenance costs. The Agencies authorize the use of infrastructure grants for funding the operation of this equipment or these combinations. The FRSQ assumes that management of these platforms is based on a sound business plan when these appropriations are used for common research or infrastructure platforms. This business plan must take into account the acquisition, operation and maintenance costs for the equipment that makes up the common platform, and of the income generated, including that related to Agency grants and the user fees required of academic- and private-sector researchers.
The eligible and non-eligible expenses set out in section 7.3 apply.
7.5 Computer supplies, telecommunications and purchase of
-Purchase of computer
supplies (computers, modems, other hardware and software required for
-Research-related telephone use and purchase of computer services
-Professional fees for Web site development and updating
-Purchase of data banks
-Installation, purchase or monthly rental of telephones or fax machines
-Communication from the researcher's home (Internet)
-Telephone lines and voice mail systems
-Leasing or purchase of cellular telephones
-Monthly charges for accessing the university's local computer network
-Journals and books available in the university library or through inter-library loan
-Computer and other information services provided to all members of an institution
7.6 Dissemination of research outcomes, reproduction, publishing, reprography and translation
-Reproduction and dissemination of funded research
-Translation of research articles
-Knowledge transfer activities (e.g. organization of seminars, study days, symposia or training sessions; use of all other suitable means for knowledge transfer and extension)
Expenses related to the protection of intellectual property, technology transfer activities or commercial development.