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Quantum News Briefs, June 13, 2022: Quebec & Calgary accelerating quantum ecosystems, China’s quantum-safe blockchain announcement & more

By Sandra Helsel posted 13 Jun 2022

In Quantum News Briefs today, we’re discussing quantum technology projects in Canada, first in Quebec and secondly in Calgary where local officials have announced programs to accelerate the growth of quantum science and their respective ecosystems. Then our focus moves around the globe to China with coverage of quantum-safe blockchain technology. This is followed by a related news brief pointing to an extensive, “Long Read” from the  Goeth Institute about innovation and quantum technology in China.

Calcul Québec announces quantum computer dedicated to science

The Minister of Economy and Innovation, Calcul Québec and Anyon Systems officially announce the upcoming arrival of a superconducting quantum computer dedicated to public research and entirely designed in Quebec. Calcul Québec’s quantum computer will be installed at the École de technologie supérieure alongside the Narval and Beluga supercomputers. Calcul Québec and the research groups already involved will conduct the first tests in the spring of 2023, with the prospect of making this resource available to the entire Quebec research community.
Calcul Québec is a non-profit organization (NPO) whose members are academic institutions and research centers. Calcul Québec is a regional partner of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and, as such, collaborates with the other regional partners (Acenet, Compute Ontario and WestGrid). We are working closely as a Federation to build the future of the digital research ecosystem in the country. Finally, Calcul Québec hosts several research projects funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).


Alberta announces $23M to create new quantum hub at
University of Calgary

The Alberta government is  funding the development of a quantum hub at the University of Calgary (UCalgary) for $23 million. Named Quantum City, the hub is expected to help fill tech talent roles in the province, as well as provide support in accelerating the development and application of Alberta-grown quantum technologies. The UCalgary hub will be launched in partnership with the University of Alberta (UofA) and the University of Lethbridge. The government’s contribution is expected to help with Quantum City’s talent creation, as well as the development of facilities where the tech will be manufactured and tested.
The hope is the hub will develop skills and talent, and attract companies interested in commercializing quantum technologies to Alberta. “Alberta is poised for growth in the quantum technologies space. With this investment in Quantum City, Alberta’s innovators will have the support they need to develop products and solutions to solve global challenges. This investment will support businesses that can transform industries for the future, diversify our economy and support good-paying jobs for Albertans,” said Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer.


Chinese Blockchain platform ChainMaker says it has new technology to keep it safe from quantum attacks

Chinese home-grown blockchain platform ChainMaker has been equipped with technology that can resist attacks from classical and quantum computers, according to state-owned China News Service.Developers of the enterprise blockchain – also known as Chang’An Chain – said the new technology further secures information transmission between financial institutions, making online transactions safer, the news agency reported on Monday.
The system released in January last year is China’s first independent blockchain platform, developed by a state-backed Beijing consortium. The Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing designed the system, which was introduced in January of last year. It is China’s first autonomous blockchain platform and was created in collaboration with universities such as Tsinghua and Beihang, as well as IT heavyweights like Tencent and Baidu.– the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing.
Developers say a digital signature algorithm further secures information transmission between financial institutions, official news agency reports.


Scientists from Goeth Institute give a Long Read on the future of quantum computing in China in online mag “Chinnotopia”

A group of scientists from various German universities are collaborating on the online magazine “chinnotopia – Future designed by China”, which provides an introduction to highly diverse aspects of Chinese innovation culture. They recently compiled  in-depth, long-read description of quantum computing in China and what it means for the world.
These authors contend the USA’s advantage over China has been shrinking recently. This is apparent from the thriving presence of the Chinese internet industry. The “Big Three”, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT), have increasingly been investing in research relating to quantum technology of this nature, and are constantly on the look-out for innovative minds.
In China quantum technologies have been a focus of political strategies for a long time. This is also clear from the rigorous government planning: in the current 14th five-year plan (2021–2025) they announce “major breakthroughs”. These are supposed to emerge in technology sectors such as quantum information technology, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and space travel.
Pan Jianwei is the leading quantum scientist in the country. He is referred to as “China’s Einstein” and ranks amongst the Chinese scientists who have been educated overseas.
Since quantum technology is a basis technology, the speed of the future technical revolution is very heavily dependent on competence in this area. The European industry is already painfully aware of this in the context of the current dependence on imported hi-tech from Asia, for example computer chips.
The global quantum technology race is getting harder each day , and the uncertainty about the future of society is becoming increasingly important. So the winner of the race for the Great Leap into the age of quantum computing is still open.


Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.


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