UW science research initiatives receive $91M in funding from federal government

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Canada’s Minister of Science, the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, announced the recipients for the 2016 Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) during her visit Sept. 6 to the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing. UW will receive $76,277,000 for Transformative Quantum Technologies (TQT), a project that “will accelerate the development of new quantum technologies,” according to the Government of Canada. The TQT project will aim to reach three major goals in quantum research: to create a universal quantum processor, quantum sensors, and long-distance quantum communication.

This announcement is part of a $900 million investment across 13 post-secondary institutions through the CFREF. CBC has reported that the University of Waterloo had to apply for the funding alongside 50 other institutions across Canada.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, said in a release following the announcement: “Today’s investment in quantum information science is a watershed moment for this frontier discipline. … In recognizing Waterloo’s role as a global leader in both theoretical and experimental quantum research with this funding, CFREF also secures Canada’s place at the leading edge of quantum research.”

Another project, Global Water Futures, will receive funding as well. CBC reported the University of Saskatchewan-led program will receive $77 million from CFREF. $15 million goes to the University of Waterloo’s Water Institute as a partner of the research initiative. Headed by Philippe Van Cappellen, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology and professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Water Institute aims to combine their research on water resources, aquatic ecosystems, and other fields to examine the availability and quality of water in Canada and other cold regions in the world.

“Canada urgently needs a coordinated, research-driven approach to manage and sustain our vast freshwater resources,” Van Cappellan said. “With this support, we’re going to be better able to adapt to the new climate normal.”

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