(TheStar) Ontario spent tens of millions of dollars to establish a quantum computing institute in Waterloo as a world-leading research hub. But industry watchers worry the province could squander its head start after the current Ford government let its funding for the institute lapse.
The University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing was founded in 2002 with a record-setting philanthropic donation and support from both the federal and provincial governments. It has since attracted some of the world’s top quantum science talent and is often cited for its leading research.
The federal Liberal government recently reinvested in the institute, promising $15 million over three years.
Ontario’s Conservative government, however, allocated no operational funding for the Institute for Quantum Computing for the current fiscal year. A five-year, $25 million operational funding deal established by the previous provincial Liberal government came to an end, and was not replaced.
“It strikes me as a missed opportunity,” says Andrew Fursman, CEO and co-founder of 1QBit, a Vancouver-based quantum computing software company, and a fellow in the Creative Destruction Lab’s quantum incubator program in Toronto.