The Alberta government is doling out $23 million for the development of a quantum hub at the University of Calgary (UCalgary).
Named Quantum City, the hub is expected to help fill tech talent roles in the province, as well as provide support in accelerating the development and application of Alberta-grown quantum technologies. The UCalgary hub will be launched in partnership with the University of Alberta (UofA) and the University of Lethbridge.
The government’s $23 million contribution is expected to help with Quantum City’s talent creation, as well as the development of facilities where the tech will be manufactured and tested.
“With Quantum City, we’re starting something big. This science will change everything. From nanotechnology and artificial intelligence — to quantum internet and biomedical engineering – UCalgary is establishing our city as a global leader in the quantum revolution,” said Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor at UCalgary.
By working with the UofA’s advanced nanotechnology and fabrication facilities, UofA’s vice president of external relations Elan MacDonald said that Quantum City is positioned to develop quantum sensing technologies and lead professional development.
Quantum sensors can be used in a number of different applications, such as early cancer detection, personalized medicine, geological exploration, and others.
Plans for establishing Quantum City were initially announced last year, naming Bangalore-based IT services and consulting company Mphasis as one its partners. At that time, Mphasis said it will be the hub’s anchor tenant and will work to draw in other quantum tech companies.
Mphasis opened its Canadian headquarters in Calgary on Tuesday, with the goal to create up to 1,000 jobs. According to Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation Doug Schweitzer, Quantum City is expected to create 1,000 jobs for the short-term, and 26,000 jobs across the province by 2040.
This latest investment is part of the $73 million Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS), which the provincial government launched as part of Budget 2022 to scale Alberta tech and produce more employment opportunities in the sector. Through ATIS, Alberta aims to create 20,000 new jobs in the province and help Alberta tech companies generate $5 billion more in annual revenue by 2030.
Out of the $73 million, $30 million has already been allocated to artificial intelligence (AI) over the next three years. Most recently, the Alberta government also announced plans to create an internal AI lab that will be powered by software company AltaML.
Alberta’s quantum commitments mirror those made by the federal government in its 2021 budget. The federal government promised at the time $360 million in its 2021 budget for a National Quantum Strategy. François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science, and industry, has been tasked with implementing that strategy.