British Columbia Premier David Eby alongside Jobs and Innovation Minister Brenda Bailey visited the Burnaby headquarters of D-Wave Quantum this week to celebrate breakthroughs in quantum computing as well as gain a better understanding into how the innovative technology can be applied to today’s societal and business challenges.
The visit comes following the release of the Province’s new “StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan,” which positions technology as a key growth area and looks to foster innovation to improve the way services are delivered.
“One aspect of our Future Ready Action plan is aimed at building the workforce for emerging technologies, like quantum computing,” stated Bailey. “Our government is taking action to ensure emerging tech businesses like D-Wave continue to have access to a highly skilled and diverse talent pool.”
D-Wave is the only company in the world building both quantum annealing and gate-based quantum computers, according to a statement from the BC firm, and has been advancing quantum science since its inception at the University of British Columbia in 1999.
“D-Wave is a BC innovation success story, driving the global race to solve the complex problems of today and tomorrow through quantum computing while creating jobs and opportunity here at home,” stated Eby. “I am impressed by these technological advancements and encouraged to see firsthand that applications on D-Wave technology can help with a wide range of critical challenges including climate change, supply chains and energy.”
From electrical grid reliability to optimization of transportation and emergency response, today’s quantum computing technology can be used to develop new and innovative solutions to drive efficiencies, according to Mark W. Johnson, senior vice president at D-Wave.
“British Columbia and D-Wave have long been at the forefront of global quantum innovation and developing the highly skilled workforce that drives it,” Johnson said. “We are excited to host Premier Eby and Minister Bailey today to provide them a behind-the-scenes look at our technology, discuss real-world applications of quantum, and highlight our newest training program with the QAI to build a quantum-ready workforce.”
D-Wave also announced a new quantum training program with BC-based Quantum Algorithms Institute to accelerate the development of a quantum-ready workforce. QAI brings together industry, academia, and government to harness British Columbia’s reputation as a leader in quantum computing.
“We need to train the workforce to be quantum ready now to ensure we can realize the benefits of this promising technology,” Bailey said.
The D-Wave and QAI joint training program, to be piloted over a two-year period, will provide hands-on quantum computing training and experiential learning to BC researchers and students working on some of the most complex and challenging questions facing society.
“QAI works with B.C. companies to help them realize the advantages of this high-potential technology across a range of industries, including healthcare, transportation and logistics and the natural resource sector,” explains chief executive Louise Tuner. “QAI is excited to partner with D-Wave to increase the number of people working with quantum technologies and provide practical, hands-on skills training and access to quantum hardware for students and researchers.”
The program aims to provide access to D-Wave’s quantum computing technologies and help BC grow and retain top talent by building up a quantum-ready workforce who may ultimately be end users of the technology, according to a statement.
“The partnership between QAI and D-Wave provides an opportunity to build on the objectives of the Future Ready Action Plan and expand B.C.’s internationally recognized quantum computing workforce,” Tuner added.
D-Wave raised $40 million in 2021 from the federal government before going public by merging with DPCM Capital, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, last year.