University of Waterloo launches new quantum initiative, merging academia and industry
Thursday, December 12, 2019
The University of Waterloo has launched a new program that brings academia and industry together to collaborate on developing new quantum technologies.
The Quantum Alliance program is led by Transformative Quantum Technologies, an existing research initiative led by the University of Waterloo. The university calls the program a “first-of-its-kind collaboration” between quantum academia and industry, where its partners would have access to, and be able to test the research group’s Quantum Innovation Cycle.
“[The new program] recognizes that quantum tech will be disruptive in many fields and brings early adopters together with quantum technology experts in a unique shared development space,” said University of Waterloo professor and Transformative Quantum Technologies principal investigator David Cory. “We are enabling this community to explore the full quantum innovation cycle, from materials to devices to applications.”
Anyon Systems, a partner that has been working with the group at the university’s Quantum-Nano Fabrication and Characterization Facility, said it is currently developing a synthetic topological material based on superconducting circuits to develop a quantum computer.
Having received funding from the Government of Canada’s ‘Canada First Research Excellence Fund,’ which supports postsecondary institutions, Transformative Quantum Technologies said it is dedicating over $76 million to the advancement of quantum technology. Companies are currently able to apply to become part of the program and have access to workshops, research expertise, support, and talent.
The Waterloo region is becoming increasingly known for its quantum computing, home to the Institute of Quantum Computing, and in April, IBM announced its collaboration with the University of Waterloo to further joint research in quantum computing, as well as develop programs to prepare students for careers in quantum, across science and business. The project with the university focuses on accelerating collaborative research in quantum algorithms and quantum complexity theory.
Kitchener-Waterloo-based startup Quantum Benchmark has also been a key partner of Google’s Quantum AI Lab, which, in October, claimed it had reached quantum supremacy, much to the dismissal of competitors like IBM.