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Quantum Algorithms Institute receives $2.2M boost from Canadian government to support B.C. as world leader in quantum technologies

July 23, 2021
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By Justin Wong

The Quantum Algorithms Institute, hosted at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, will benefit from $2,210,000 million in federal funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to help it accelerate the innovation and commercialization of quantum technologies.

The institute will also use the funds to renovate its state-of-the-art physical hub to facilitate engagement activities such as hosting collaborative events between industry and academia, organizing quantum technology conferences for local and international players, and promoting collaboration between existing quantum companies and potential new customers.

In addition, this funding will help the institute train and grow a world-leading talent pool for this emerging industry.

The institute is led by its founding members, including:

  • Academic Partners: SFU, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria
  • Government of British Columbia
  • Industry Partners: Amazon Web Services, D-Wave, IBM, Microsoft, Photonic, and 1-QBit.

“On behalf of the Institute, SFU and all partners, I would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada for their generous support,” says Dugan O’Neil, SFU’s vice-president of research and international. “This funding will further contribute to the mission of the Institute in bringing academia, industry and government together, and raise awareness of the province’s flourishing reputation as a leader in quantum computing.”

Quantum technology is a new generation of optical and electronic devices that use quantum effects to significantly enhance the performance over that of existing technologies.

For example, quantum computers will be able to solve problems that the largest classical supercomputers would take thousands of years to solve, but in a fraction of the time.

“Quantum technology is a key field that will bring opportunities and talent into British Columbia,” says the Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “By supporting the Quantum Algorithms Institute, we are demonstrating a commitment to making strategic investments in digital technologies that will ensure strong economic growth and prosperity in the West.”

This technology will have significant impacts across many sectors including manufacturing, natural resources, finance, engineering, healthcare, defense, transport, telecommunications and life sciences.

“When the new facility opens in spring 2022, the institute will offer a regular schedule of training opportunities, industry workshops and events, and open collaborative research seminars,” says Brad Lackey, senior principal researcher from Microsoft, and Chair of the Quantum Algorithms Institute’s Board of Directors. “In addition to providing a key venue for fostering academic-industry collaboration, it will enable all the cross-disciplinary interaction needed to prepare our students for entering the quantum technology workforce.”

Read the official news release from Western Economic Diversification Canada.