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Ontario Funds Quantum Tech Development with $14.9 Million Investment

waving flag of Canada
waving flag of Canada

Insider Brief

  • Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Job Creation visited Waterloo to announce a $14.9 million for quantum technology.
  • The announcement was made at the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab in the University of Waterloo research and technology park.
  • The grant is the last allocation from the $107 million Critical Technology Initiative Fund.

The province of Ontario has invested millions in the emerging field of quantum technology, aimed at enhancing the capabilities of antennas used in smartphones, vehicles, drones, cell towers, and aircraft, the Waterloo Region Record reports. Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Job Creation,  made the announcement during a visit to the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab in the University of Waterloo research and technology park.

According to the newspaper, the funding, which amounts to up to $14.9 million, is part of the province’s broader initiative to support critical technological advancements. Fedeli explained that this grant is the last allocation from the $107 million Critical Technology Initiative Fund, which has been instrumental in advancing research in artificial intelligence, 5G networks, robotics, blockchain, and cybersecurity throughout Ontario.

The minister emphasized the fund’s goal to tackle real-world problems and foster the commercialization of innovative technologies. He highlighted the immense potential of quantum technologies, projecting a market growth of $1.2 trillion in the next decade across computing, sensing, and communications sectors.

The funds announced will be utilized not only in research but also in practical applications, including internships for graduate students and aiding in the transition of technology from lab to market. “Here in Ontario we are very good at research, but when it comes to commercialization we are behind the mark,” Fedeli said, as reported by the newspaper.

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Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, initiated by Mike Lazaridis’ Quantum Valley Investments, is as a non-profit incubator and accelerator for startups in the quantum technology sector. This 70,000-square-foot research facility is fully equipped for the design and development of quantum devices. A key output of this initiative is a new radio frequency measurement device, poised to be the first commercial product from the lab, with WaveRyde Instruments as the inaugural startup to transition this technology.

Nick Werstiuk, CEO at Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, discussed the importance of these investments in driving the commercial adoption of quantum technology. He views the funding as a crucial step in moving quantum advancements from theoretical to practical applications.

Quantum physics, which leverages the properties of atomic particles for information processing, accurate measurements, and potentially powering next-generation supercomputers, is at the heart of these technological developments. The funding announcement signifies the commencement of commercializing technologies emerging from the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab.

“This is going to be the launch pad of what we hope will be commercialized products,” Fedeli told the paper, highlighting the lab’s critical role in this venture.

Over the past two decades, more than $750 million has been invested in quantum physics research in the region, with funding from both public and private sources, including Lazaridis’ personal fortune. While significant advances have been made in quantum sensors and cryptography, the commercialization of quantum computers or simulators remains a future goal for the labs in and around the University of Waterloo campus.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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