Quantum technologies a priority for Canada

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

AMSTERDAM: Europe’s top researchers, government and industry leaders gathered today at the Quantum Europe 2016 conference in Amsterdam to discuss a comprehensive strategy for quantum technology development and commercialization.

Mike Lazaridis, founder of Blackberry Limited and the visionary who led the establishment of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo and Quantum Valley Investments, delivered a keynote address highlighting the Quantum Valley model in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada and the emphasis both federal and provincial governments have placed on the development of quantum technologies.

The Quantum Europe conference comes at a time when large scale investments from tech companies and governments around the world, including in Canada, are being made as part of the “Second Quantum Revolution” – a new global industry fueled by the commercialization of new transformative quantum technologies.

Mr. Lazaridis led a Canadian delegation to the Conference that included Lawrence Hanson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister, Research and Innovation and Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Ontario and representatives from IQC and PI.

Mr. Lazaridis spoke about his vision for the Quantum Valley and the results of a 16 year effort to enable Canada to intercept this new, large-scale global industry. Speaking on the value of the conference, Mr. Lazaridis noted that:

“The conference not only corroborates what we have been saying and doing in the Quantum Valley over the past 16 years, but it suggests a similarity of vision and objectives between the Quantum Valley and European quantum efforts that will allow for continued collaboration as we help the world enter the Second Quantum Revolution.”

Speaking on what has been achieved in the Quantum Valley and the opportunity for the Second Quantum Revolution, Mr. Lazaridis said the following:

“We are very proud of the quality of the researchers that we have attracted and the state of the art teaching, laboratories and fabrication facilities that we have established as part of our world class centre for the development and commercialization of quantum technologies. We are excited by the opportunities for the world that are already emerging as part of the Second Quantum Revolution and the opportunity that the Quantum Valley is establishing for itself as a leading global centre in this new large scale and exciting industry.”

Lazaridis was joined on stage by Assistant Deputy Minister Hanson and Deputy Minister Gherson. In their remarks, both referred to their respective governments’ long-term investments and support to develop Ontario and Canada as global centres for the development and commercialization of quantum technologies. These efforts include recent commitments by both Ontario and the Government of Canada for the Perimeter Institute of $50 million each. These funds will be matched by $50 million of private sector funding. Acknowledging the opportunity for Ontario and Canada to play a leadership role in the Second Quantum Revolution, Hanson and Gherson noted that the development of transformative quantum technologies for this new global industry and the commercialization of these technologies in Ontario and in Canada is a priority for their governments.

“Quantum Valley is establishing Canada as a leading destination for researchers who want to pursue research into transformative quantum technologies,” said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. “Supporting the development of quantum capability in Canada is important in so many aspects: scientific discovery, development of ideas and technologies, and commercialization in Canada.”

“Quantum computing is transforming traditional sectors and also creating sectors we couldn't even have imagined just a few years ago,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Science, Innovation and Economic Development. “Canada will succeed in this new innovation environment by understanding and embracing quantum technologies to generate breakthrough ideas that benefit Canadians and drive economic growth.”

"The Ontario Government has and continues to be a proud partner in helping Waterloo emerge and flourish as a world leader in quantum technologies. The province’s reputation as a hub of research and innovation is attracting the best and the brightest and is producing exciting results in the development and commercialization of quantum technologies.” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, Government of Ontario.

“The Ontario government’s investments in Waterloo as a region of excellence in quantum technologies has led to incredible discoveries and created highly skilled jobs and opportunities for the scientific and academic community. We look forward to our continued partnership and economic growth in this sector and related industries.” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Government of Ontario.

In addition to his keynote address, Lazaridis will participate in a panel discussion on quantum technology approaches outside of Europe.

About Quantum Valley Investments

Quantum Valley Investments and its fund ‐ the Quantum Valley Investment Fund (together “QVI”) were established by Mike and Doug in 2013, with a commitment of $100 million in investment capital. Their goal in creating QVI was to help develop the foundations of a commercialization ecosystem for the Quantum Valley in the Waterloo Region. Since that time, the QVI partners have helped establish a quantum technology commercialization hub in the Region that is building the components necessary to address the unique challenges of commercializing quantum technologies and thereby enable and accelerate the commercialization of new transformative quantum technologies including those created by researchers in this Region. http://quantumvalleyinvestments.com/

About the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo

The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) is a world-leading research centre in quantum information science and technology at the University of Waterloo. IQC’s mission is to develop and advance quantum information science and technology through interdisciplinary collaboration at the highest international level. Enabled by IQC’s unique infrastructure, experimentalists and theorists are making powerful new advances in fields spanning quantum computing, communications, sensors and materials. IQC’s award-winning outreach opportunities foster scientific curiosity and discovery among students, teachers and the community. uwaterloo.ca/iqc

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/