The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) is a scientific research institute at the University of Waterloo harnessing the quantum laws of nature to develop powerful new technologies that will transform information technology and drive the 21st century economy.
IQC was launched a decade ago thanks to the pioneering vision and incredibly generous personal investment of Mike Lazaridis. The BlackBerry creator understood that truly revolutionary technologies can only emerge when scientists are given the resources and intellectual freedom to pursue trailblazing research. Lazaridis had already demonstrated this passion and support for fundamental science by founding Waterloo's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where scientists ponder the deepest questions of reality.
Lazaridis also saw the need to transform fundamental discoveries, through laboratory experiments, into practical technologies with widespread societal impact. He recognized quantum information science as a nascent area of research that was in the midst of moving from pure theory to lab experimentation and real applications. With this in mind, he teamed with David Johnston (then president of the University of Waterloo), to establish a new, cutting-edge research facility at the university. The duo recruited Raymond Laflamme, a top quantum information scientist then working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, to turn their idea into a reality.
Lazaridis, Laflamme and Johnston knew the University of Waterloo — with its established history of scientific excellence and entrepreneurial spirit — would provide fertile intellectual soil from which this new institute could grow. They worked closely with Prof. Michele Mosca, a University of Waterloo mathematics alumnus who had recently earned his doctorate at Oxford, to establish the core group of researchers and key areas of focus. Through partnerships between the private sector, academia, and the federal and provincial governments, IQC launched in 2002 with Laflamme as its executive director and Mosca as deputy director.