The Université de Sherbrooke has secured $16 million in funding from the Québec government for its digital and quantum innovation platform (PINQ2). This financing is part of the $1.3 billion that the province is allotting for the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy.
PINQ2 is a non-profit organization that offers integrated solutions for a range of sectors, such as health care, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and digital media.
PINQ2 was created as an initiative of the university and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec. Its mission is to increase collaboration and technology transfer between industries and the research community and to accelerate the digital transformation of companies. The non-profit organization plans to achieve this by teaming up with a large group of academic and industrial partners.
The organization is led by Eric Capelle, who has worked in the innovation sector across the globe for almost four decades. Before he started working with the Université de Sherbrooke to create PINQ2, he was the executive transformation leader of innovation at the National Bank of Canada.
Pilot projects are currently underway at PINQ2, particularly in the field of industrial simulation and machine learning. In the coming months, PINQ2 will offer hybrid computing and access to quantum infrastructure. This will serve as a place for experimentation to test the applications of quantum computing.
Over the next year, PINQ2 plans on delivering its initial cohorts of projects and ensuring that the corporate and academic system is aware of its solution. PINQ2 expects to be fully operational by September this year.
PINQ2 also aims to train the next generation of professionals to support Québec’s tech ecosystem. By supporting a series of collaborative projects with the university sector, including numerous research centres, PINQ2 will provide a learning environment for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.
The computing platform will be accessible through initiatives supported by several provincial and federal agencies such as Prompt, PRIMA, and Mitacs. These partners will provide PINQ2 with financing to carry out the organization’s projects.
The Québec government has been actively distributing funding for research and innovation projects, as laid out in its budget for 2022, as well as previous years. When it comes to quantum investing, earlier this year, the province collaborated with IBM in a five-year partnership to launch the Québec-IBM Discovery Accelerator.
Working with the federal government, the province also announced the creation of a Montréal-based international centre of expertise for the advancement of artificial intelligence in 2019.
Featured image from Université de Sherbrooke