The Province of Alberta is investing more than $20 million in a quantum physics hub located at the University of Calgary, Premier Jason Kenney announced this week.
The funding, provided through the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy and Alberta’s Recovery Plan, will fund U-Calgary’s initiative for the next five years.
The initiative “will elevate quantum research in Calgary to be amongst the strongest globally,” according to Dr. Barry Sanders, the scientific director of Quantum City.
Quantum City represents a partnership between the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, as well as polytechnic schools in the region.
“With Quantum City, we’re starting something big,” said Dr. Ed McCauley, president of the University of Calgary. “This science will change everything. From nanotechnology and artificial intelligence—to quantum internet and biomedical engineering—U-Calgary is establishing our city as a global leader in the quantum revolution.”
A robust talent pool is critical to that goal, according to U-Calgary.
Quantum City will thus enable the launch of new training programs, industry internships, research scholarships and fellowships, and training tools.
Mphasis, an information technology solutions provider specializing in cloud and cognitive services, was named as a partner in Quantum City in 2021.
“We aim to strengthen Calgary’s position as a global technology hub by driving research and innovation locally, and generating next-gen technology talent to meet the skill demand of the region,” said Nitin Rakesh, executive director and CEO of Mphasis.
“The investment … is really to support talent creation in the province, as well as our ability to certainly deal and create in some of these technologies,” McCauley told the Calgary Herald. “We hope companies like Mphasis and other companies around the world will take up support in the area around building up fabrication facilities.”
“All of the major tech companies with whom we speak about potential investments in Alberta talk to us about … the development of a skilled labour force,” noted Kenney.
“As our province grows and increases its population, it also needs to diversify what it does,” added Sanders. “Jobs will be created and we’re attracting companies and we also expect to generate startups.”