Quantum science and technologies are at the forefront of research and innovation. The Government of Canada is dedicated to fostering the expansion of accelerating the industry’s quantum ecosystem and building experts, driving the Canadian economy toward a sustainable quantum industry in the future through the development of its National Quantum Strategy, which was established following a thorough public consultation via stakeholder roundtables and online surveys.
Since 2012, the Canadian government has invested more than $1 billion in quantum. These initial expenditures aided Canada’s position as a global leader in quantum physics.
The Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, announced the launch of Canada’s National Quantum Strategy, which will determine the future of quantum technology in Canada and help create thousands of employment. The strategy, backed by a $360 million investment in the 2021 Budget, will magnify Canada’s existing global leadership in quantum research while also growing Canada’s quantum innovations, companies, and talent.
The National Quantum Strategy Mission
The National Quantum Strategy is guided by three missions in key quantum technology areas: computing hardware and software—to position Canada as a world leader in the continued development, deployment, and use of these technologies; communications—to provide Canada with a national secure quantum communications network and post-quantum cryptography capabilities; and sensors—to assist Canadian developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies.
Furthermore, the strategy’s foundation is driven by the investments allocated for the three core pillars (1) through research, the $141 million investment will help support basic and applied research projects that will realize solutions and breakthroughs, (2) through talent, the $45 million investment will initiate growth and maintain quantum expertise and talent within Canada, at the same time attract experts around the world, to build the quantum sector; and (3) through commercialization, the $169 million budget will help translate research projects into scalable commercial products and services that will benefit the country and the world.
Quantum Technology Community in Canada
Several investments have already been announced through current government initiatives, and new partners are gearing up to begin their quantum programs.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is investing $137.9 million in Alliance grants and Collaborative Research, and Training Experience (CREATE) grants to strengthen Canada’s research advantages in quantum science and help build a skilled workforce to support the growth of a robust quantum community.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is establishing the Quantum Research and Development Initiative (QRDI), a new $9 million program to expand collaborative, government quantum research and development. QRDI will bring together the government—which will provide expertise and infrastructure—and academic and industrial partners to cooperate on expanding quantum technologies by the National Quantum Strategy’s three aims.
The NRC will receive $50 million to expand the Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program and roll out its Applied Quantum Computing Challenge program to help translate quantum science and research into commercial innovations that generate economic benefits and support the adoption of made-in-Canada solutions by businesses. In addition, the Global Innovation Clusters of Canada will receive $14 million to carry out initiatives related to the Commercialization pillar.
The government will continue to collaborate with Canada’s quantum ecosystem to ensure the success of the National Quantum Strategy and the Canadian scientists and entrepreneurs who are ideally placed to capitalize on these prospects.
Additionally, NSERC has awarded 17 awards totalling $1.5 million over three years and plans to disclose more results of its quantum programs, including the Alliance International Quantum grants, Alliance Quantum grants, Alliance Consortia Quantum grants, and CREATE projects, in the coming months.
Dr Raymond Laflamme, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, and Dr Stephanie Simmons, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies at Simon Fraser University, were present at the launch. Drs. Laflamme and Simmons will co-chair a new Quantum Advisory Council, giving independent expert guidance on plan implementation.
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