Connecting Canada’s quantum networks

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

“Canada is too small to not have our quantum ecosystem working better together,” said Nipun Vats, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Research Sector, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), during his opening keynote address of the Institute for Quantum Computing's (IQC) first national networking conference, Quantum Connections, touching on the challenges and future of quantum information in Canada.

Sponsored by IBM Quantum, Xanadu, and Gowling WLG, the inaugural networking conference brought together over 150 quantum professionals from government, industry and academic sectors to foster collaborations and create connections over two days. The conference’s goal was to encourage the thriving quantum ecosystem that Vats, Norbert Lütkenhaus, IQC’s Executive Director, and many other leaders in quantum information envision to ensure Canada sustains our quantum excellence within the growing global landscape.

Quantum Connections attendees critically examined the challenges we face as a country within the landscape of quantum and had proactive conversations considering Canada’s quantum future. Quantum Connections will be held as an annual event and is expected to grow and evolve with the changing landscape of Canadian quantum innovation.

Nipun Vats virtually delivering his keynote address
Sonia Sennick delivering their Quantum Connections keynote address

Highlights of this year’s conference included the keynote addresses from Dr. Nipun Vats on May 3, focusing on the challenges of quantum in Canada, and Sonia Sennik on May 4 considering the future of quantum in Canada.

“Canada has been at the forefront of creating and supporting the commercialization of quantum ventures,” said Sonia Sennik during their keynote address. Sennik is the Executive Director of Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies. During the keynote, Sennik discussed CDL’s quantum-stream and its approaches to empowering individuals to move research from labs and into commercialization spaces.

“The expense of building quantum hardware, coupled with the steady improvement of classical computers means that commercial relevance of quantum computing won’t be apparent unless researchers and investors shift their focus from the quantum advantage, to pursue what we call ‘the quantum economic advantage’.”

Save the date for Quantum Connections 2024 – May 1 to 2. Stay tuned for more details.


To read more about the conference, see the full story, Connecting Canada's Quantum Networks, on Waterloo News.

To learn more about Quantum Connections, visit the conference website.