Collaborating to advance quantum technologies in Canada and the UK

Friday, November 13, 2020

Earlier this year, Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) joined together to put a call out for proposals of collaborations between leading-edge scientists and potential innovative users from industry and government sectors to accelerate the development of quantum technologies.

Professor Michele Mosca leads one of the three successful University of Waterloo proposals. His co-applicants, Professors Douglas Stebila and Norbert Lütkenhaus (Physics), are working with industry and academic partners to combine the technologies and designs of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) technologies. By developing a Canadian-UK secure network built on the security principles of technologies, the goal is to build a standardized quantum-safe networking architecture.

The team is working with the UK business lead KETS Quantum Security Ltd., and the University of Bristol is the UK academic partner. The Canadian partners include RHEA Group, QEYnet Inc., Crypto4A and the Communications Security Establishment.

“Through their interdisciplinary work spanning the Faculties of Mathematics and Science, and the Institute for Quantum Computing,and engagement with stakeholders in industry and government, Michele,  Douglas, and Norbert are working to help build an ecosystem where data is safely exchanged and protected against quantum and classical computers,” said Jochen Koenemann, chair of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization. “They have long been involved in the development of standards for quantum-safe communications.”

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) launched the call for research proposals on quantum technologies. The call builds on complementary interests and research expertise in this area in the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada.

The call will provide up to C$4,000,000 in funding over three years, with a maximum of C$400,000 per project, from NSERC. It will also provide up to £2,000,000 in funding over three years, with a maximum of £300,000 per project, from Innovate UK.