Backed by an investment of $360 million through the Government of Canada, the newly launched National Quantum Strategy (NQS) aims to strengthen Canada’s position at the forefront of global quantum developments.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Hon. François-Philippe Champagne said quantum technologies will shape the course of the future, and Canada is at the forefront, leading the way.
“The National Quantum Strategy will support a resilient economy by strengthening our research, businesses and talent, giving Canada a competitive advantage for decades to come. I look forward to collaborating with businesses, researchers and academia as we build our quantum future,” said Minister Champagne.
The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (Blusson QMI) Scientific Director, Professor Andrea Damascelli, said the strategy reinforces Canada’s position as a global player in quantum science and will boost the nation’s capability to attract and retain top scientific staff, postdoctoral fellows, and students from around the world.
“For Blusson QMI, the strategy will allow us to realize the full potential of quantum materials – the building blocks for future technologies, from quantum computers and ultra-sensitive sensors to high-performance batteries and supercapacitors.”
Quantum materials have been recognized as one of the five principal quantum technologies in the strategy and play a key role in realizing the strategy’s three missions:
- Make Canada a world leader in the continued development, deployment and use of quantum computing hardware and software.
- Ensure the privacy and cyber-security of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world through a national secure quantum communications network and a post-quantum cryptography initiative.
- Enable the Government of Canada and key industries to be developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies.
With unique magnetic and electrical properties, and more robust phase coherence, quantum materials have the potential to enable the construction of quantum computers that are less error-prone and quantum sensors that are ultra-sensitive, highly tunable, and energy-efficient.
In the quest for useful quantum computation, quantum-material-based devices could be directly applied to build the next generation of computing architectures, said Blusson QMI Investigator Dr. Joseph Salfi.
Dr. Salfi, an Assistant Professor at UBC’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, leads a research group studying the physical implementation of quantum computers.
“Quantum device research typically employs existing quantum materials or combinations of them. Quantum materials discoveries could provide new building blocks for this future technology,” Dr. Salfi said. “Furthermore, the states inside quantum materials are intimately connected to the ones created inside quantum computers during computation. The two fields can cross-fertilize each other.”
Dr. Salfi’s research group investigates and builds prototypes of future large-scale quantum computers based on silicon materials and devices that underpin classical computer technologies, and therefore have a special industrial relevance.
“I tell my students that they will be among the first people trained in the field who will not just become researchers in quantum computing, but who will also have the opportunity to translate the science into practice to make industrially relevant quantum computers,” said Salfi.
“Small quantum computers already work, and larger ones are on the cusp of delivering their promise. It’s up to us to figure out what we are going to do with quantum computers; how to build them and make them better, and how to make them accessible.”
At Blusson QMI, the first Global Research Excellence (GREx) Institute at the University of British Columbia, our investigators are collaborative theorists and experimentalists working together across departments and disciplines to identify, classify and explore quantum materials and phenomena, catalyzing the discovery and design of the quantum technologies of the future.
Learn more about our research here.
To view Canada’s newly launched National Quantum Strategy, please click here.