Electronic Products & Technology

Sherbrooke university joins IBM Q Network

L’Institut quantique at Université de Sherbrooke joins IBM Q Network

June 2, 2020  EP&T Magazine

L’Institut quantique (IQ) at Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) has agreed to join the IBM Q Network as an IBM Q Hub, the first in Canada. With the financial support from the government of Québec, UdeS will greatly expand its quantum computing capacity as an IBM Q Hub, which will give its members exclusive cloud-based access to IBM’s most advanced quantum computing systems and software, including a 53-qubit system, currently the largest universal one available in the industry. 

“The IBM Q Hub at IQ is a tool for both fundamental research and the development of practical applications”, explains Alexandre Blais, IQ Scientific Director. “We want to build a quantum community of users where academia, private companies and startups meet and connect.”

The IBM Q Hub at IQ is already announcing its first official member, CMC Microsystems, which has a national network of universities and companies working in micro-nanotechnology innovation. “This collaboration is a perfect fit for the researchers in our network” says CMC Microsystems president and CEO Gordon Harling. “We firmly believe that the quantum space will be strategically important and with this initiative, many Quebec organizations will be positioned to be global leaders.”

Play a key role in Canada

“Hubs such as the one at UdeS are essential to growing the quantum computing community necessary to discover practical quantum applications that drive business and scientific breakthroughs”, says Dr. Anthony Annunziata, director of the IBM Q Network. “The research, education, and industry collaborations through UdeS will play a key role in Canada, and the world in developing this quantum computing ecosystem.”

Driven by scientific and technical breakthroughs, quantum computing has gained momentum in recent years. Quantum’s potential for solving problems with a complexity that exceeds the computing capacity of conventional supercomputers opens up new possibilities for applications across different fields including biochemistry, finance, logistics and artificial intelligence. Expertise, complexity and infrastructure are major challenges for most companies and research institutions wishing to explore and develop applications based on quantum computing.

“We have several industries that can benefit from advances in quantum technologies and whose design, manufacturing and distribution capabilities will support the development of new systems and devices. By adopting new technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, Québec is building a decisive competitive advantage that will enable it to shine even brighter on the international scene. With the creation of this IBM Q Hub, Université de Sherbrooke, to which the government has granted 4.5 million dollars, is undeniably confirming that collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs can make Québec even more innovative,” mentions Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region.

The IBM Q Hub at IQ is yet another initiative that consolidates Université de Sherbrooke’s position as a key centre in Quebec and Canada for quantum computing research, know-how and technology. “This agreement attests to our IQ researchers’ talent and the exceptional research environment of our university’s ecosystem combining quantum science and technological applications,” says Vincent Aimez, Vice-President for Partnerships at Université de Sherbrooke.


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