The University of Waterloo will officially open the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC) this week, representing a new era in future innovation in quantum information and nanotechnology.
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"This remarkable new building, unique in the world, will add tremendous new capacity to the University of Waterloo's global impact in research and discovery," says Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor, University of Waterloo. "This is a state-of-the-art research facility where scientists and students from many disciplines will work together towards the next big breakthroughs in science and technology."
Located at the heart of the university campus, the new building is to be shared by the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN), the 285,000-square-foot facility will give researchers the tools and collaborative opportunities they need to perform groundbreaking experiments, investigate new processes and materials, and build innovative technologies.
"Just as the discoveries and innovations at The Bell Labs led to the companies that created Silicon Valley, so will, I predict, the discoveries and innovations of the Quantum-Nano Centre lead to the creation of companies that will lead to Waterloo Region becoming known as The Quantum Valley," said Mike Lazaridis, whose generous donation of more than $100 million to the project has supported the Centre's creation.
Since 1999, Mr. Lazaridis' philanthropy and fund-raising efforts have netted more than $600 million towards this vision, including funding for IQC, WIN, QNC and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
The grand opening will feature students, researchers, university leaders, community and political leaders and the building's architects to celebrate the creation of this unique, world-class facility.
"This remarkable facility will give Waterloo scientists the cutting-edge tools and collaborative environment needed to make revolutionary breakthroughs in quantum information and nanotechnology," adds Raymond Laflamme, executive director of the Institute for Quantum Computing. "By harnessing the quantum properties of the nano-scale world, researchers will pioneer new technologies that will change the ways we work, communicate, play and live."
The $160 million building meets the most stringent standards for quantum-scale experiments — precise controls for vibration and temperature, for example — and features a large, six-storey central atrium at the heart of the building surrounded by flexible spaces to encourage interaction and collaboration.
"Quantum devices of the future will be built with nano materials, and will be enabled by nanotechnology, making nanotechnology the bridge to quantum," says Arthur Carty, Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. "Clearly this is an incredible opportunity for collaboration that has the potential to change our world."
Scientifically and aesthetically, the building promises to become a magnet that will attract many of the world's top minds to Waterloo, further enhancing the university's long-standing reputation as an international hub of research and innovation.