Xanadu’s Christian Weedbrook among Quantum Industry Canada’s three new board appointments

The Xanadu CEO joins representatives from Anyon Systems and Quantacet.

Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), an advocacy group for Canada’s quantum technology sector, has added three new industry leaders to its board of directors. 

“I can guarantee that QIC is heading somewhere big.”

– Martin Laforest

Among the appointments is Christian Weedbrook, the founder and CEO of Xanadu, one of Canada’s largest quantum computing players. Xanadu officially became a Canadian tech unicorn after securing $100 million USD at a $1 billion valuation in November 2022. 

Xanadu’s quantum computer is built using photons, or particles of light, to perform exceptionally fast and complex computations at room temperature. Xanadu has said its next goal is to build a fault-tolerant and error-corrected quantum computer capable of scaling up to one million qubits, the scale at which useful applications can be accessed. 

RELATED: Xanadu, Toronto Metropolitan University to develop quantum computing educational program

Other appointments to QIC’s board include Anyon Systems VP of intellectual property Alexandra Daoud and Quantacet managing partner Martin Laforest. In a statement, QIC said the new appointees will play a vital role in steering QIC’s strategic direction over the course of its three-year mandate.

QIC was formed in October 2020 by a consortium of quantum-invested companies looking to advocate for the growth of the sector. By connecting Canadian businesses with international quantum partners, the group looks to attract quantum investments to Canada, deploy quantum technologies, and develop international standards in quantum computing.

“[The appointees’] collective expertise, diverse perspectives, and proven track records will undoubtedly enhance QIC’s strategic direction, helping to transform the quantum landscape in Canada and beyond,” QIC’s board chair Michele Mosca said in a statement. 

Daoud participates in strategic initiatives at Dorval, QC-based Anyon Systems, a quantum computing company that designs, builds, and delivers fully integrated gate-based superconducting quantum computers. 

RELATED: Quantum Industry Canada appoints Lisa Lambert as first-ever CEO following fed investment 

Laforest is currently managing partner for Quantacet, an early-stage, quantum-focused investment fund. He is also the director of quantum strategy for ACET, a Sherbrooke-based deep tech incubator offering specific mentoring tailored to quantum enterprises, and an advisor to Canada’s National Quantum Strategy. 

“Alexandra, Martin, and Christian bring a wealth of expertise in quantum technologies, intellectual property, and strategic investment, crucial for translating Canadian quantum innovation into business success and economic prosperity,” QIC CEO Lisa Lambert said to BetaKit.

QIC has been adding to its leadership since receiving $1.4 million in March as part of the federal government’s $360-million National Quantum Strategy

According to LinkedIn, Angela Olano joined as QIC’s director of marketing and communications in June. Olano was the University of Waterloo’s former manager of special projects for the institute of quantum computing from 2014 to 2019. 

QIC then appointed Lambert, who has past communications experience at the Perimeter Institute and TRIUMF, as its first-ever CEO in October. 

Laforest expressed excitement with these leadership additions when announcing his board appointment on LinkedIn

“[QIC] has recently brought in Lisa Lambert and Angela Olano as part of their leadership. Having had the chance to work with both of them in the past, I can guarantee that QIC is heading somewhere big,” Laforest said. “I am excited to further work with these two amazing women and a great board of directors.”

UPDATE (12/19/23): This story was updated with commentary from QIC CEO Lisa Lambert.

Feature image courtesy Xanadu.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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