Canada launches National Quantum Strategy
EP&T MagazineElectronics quantum
Goal is to create jobs and advance quantum technologies
With the strategy to amplify Canada’s existing global leadership in quantum research and grow quantum technologies, companies and talent, the Government of Canada recently launched its Canada’s National Quantum Strategy – backed by an investment of $360 million committed in Budget 2021.
The National Quantum Strategy is driven by three missions in key quantum technology areas:
- Computing hardware and software—to make Canada a world leader in the continued development, deployment and use of these technologies
- Communications—to equip Canada with a national secure quantum communications network and post-quantum cryptography capabilities
- Sensors—to support Canadian developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies
The missions will be advanced through investments in three pillars:
- Research—$141 million to support basic and applied research to realize new solutions and new innovations
- Talent—$45 million to develop and retain quantum expertise and talent in Canada, as well as attract experts from within Canada and around the world, to build the quantum sector
- Commercialization—$169 million to translate research into scalable commercial products and services that will benefit Canadians, our industries and the world
Efforts under the strategy are already under way. To reinforce Canada’s research strengths in quantum science and help develop a talent pipeline to support the growth of a strong quantum community, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is delivering an investment of $137.9 million through its Alliance grants and Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) grants.
Mitacs will deliver $40 million to support the attraction, training, retention and deployment of highly qualified personnel in quantum science and technology through innovation internship experiences and professional skills development.
The Quantum Research and Development Initiative (QRDI), a new $9 million program coordinated and administered by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), is being established to grow collaborative, federal quantum research and development. QRDI will bring government—offering expertise and infrastructure—and academic and industrial partners together to work on advancing quantum technologies under the three missions of the National Quantum Strategy.
To help translate quantum science and research into commercial innovations that generate economic benefits and support the adoption of made-in-Canada solutions by businesses, the NRC is receiving $50 million to expand the Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program and roll out its Applied Quantum Computing Challenge program. As well, Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters are receiving $14 million to carry out activities as part of the Commercialization pillar.
In addition, the government’s flagship strategic procurement program, Innovative Solutions Canada, is receiving $35 million over seven years to help innovative Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises grow, scale up, develop intellectual property, export and create high-value jobs in the quantum sector.