The Government of Canada Friday announced an effort to invest at least $355 million across programs focused on researching quantum technology, developing quantum talent, and commercializing quantum computing as part of a new National Quantum Strategy.
The commitment comes as governments in countries around the world continue to increase spending and focus on quantum with aims toward helping their countries achieve worldwide leadership status in the burgeoning sector.
A government statement read, “Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the launch of Canada’s National Quantum Strategy, which will shape the future of quantum technologies in Canada and help create thousands of jobs. Backed by an investment of $360 million committed in Budget 2021, the strategy will amplify Canada’s existing global leadership in quantum research and grow Canada’s quantum technologies, companies and talent.”
A new Quantum Advisory Council, which will provide “independent expert advice on the implementation of the strategy,” will be co-chaired by 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, and founder and Chief Quantum Officer of Photonic Inc.
The statement also detailed how the National Quantum Strategy will pursue three missions in key quantum technology areas:
- Computing hardware and software—to make Canada a world leader in the continued development, deployment and use of these technologies
- Communications—to equip Canada with a national secure quantum communications network and post-quantum cryptography capabilities
- Sensors—to support Canadian developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies
The missions will be advanced through investments in three pillars:
- Research—$141 million to support basic and applied research to realize new solutions and new innovations
- Talent—$45 million to develop and retain quantum expertise and talent in Canada, as well as attract experts from within Canada and around the world, to build the quantum sector
- Commercialization—$169 million to translate research into scalable commercial products and services that will benefit Canadians, Canadian industries and the world
More details can be found in the Government of Canada news release. The announcement came after months of speculation that the government was close to announcing a national strategy for quantum efforts.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.