Advancing quantum

Interim Executive Director message

IQC Interim Director Kevin ReschIt is an exciting time in quantum as research, breadth of applications, commercial activity and general awareness are accelerating together. Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) are discovering and building quantum technologies that will revolutionize some of the largest industrial sectors in the world: health and medicine, natural resources, environmental monitoring, cybersecurity, electronics and telecommunications. We are working with industry to develop new ways of solving some of the most challenging problems the world is grappling with today.

IQC members have connected quantum to important applications from communications security to new techniques in cancer treatment. IQC’s vibrant community brings together scientists, mathematicians and engineers to advance quantum opportunities. We are a magnet drawing world-class talent to Waterloo Region and are training the quantum workforce of the future. This year we welcomed theoretical quantum computing and algorithms expert David Gosset from IBM. We also attracted Joel Wallman, whose expertise is in characterizing and correcting errors in practical quantum computers.

This was a year of research milestones at IQC with advances across quantum computing, communication, sensors and materials. We developed new quantum algorithms and methods for optimizing the performance of quantum computers, cooled and trapped Barium and Ytterbium ions for quantum simulation and computation, and expanded the theory of quantum communication and developed new techniques essential for Canada’s quantum satellite mission. Finally, we developed new materials for improving both quantum and classical electronics. Select research achievements are covered throughout this report.

Our programs and workshops are developing the quantum workforce. There are roughly 7,000 quantum experts worldwide; over 1,600 people received training at IQC. We have built the most comprehensive graduate program globally in quantum technology, and this year we celebrated our highest enrollment in the institute’s history. Our alumni are now working in multi-nationals, startups, government and academia.

IQC is the heart of Waterloo’s Quantum Valley, the technology cluster and the world-leading quantum industrial sector. The Quantum Valley brings academics, start-up companies, incubators and investors together to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology. Some of IQC’s research achievements form the basis for new commercial opportunities and over 30% of IQC faculty are actively involved in quantum start-up companies.