The Canadian government has renewed investment support for the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC). The Harper government`s economic action plan 2014 budget allocates $15 million over a three year period.
Raymond Laflamme, executive director of the IQC, had a direct role in projecting how much money was needed to turn this research into reality. Laflamme said that this investment will attract, “fantastic talent in researchers and graduate students” both domestic and abroad.
Laflamme said that funding will go to research initiatives the IQC wants to see come to fruition. Focus of research includes finding efficiencies in quantum information and computing, as well as communication sensors.
“Technology, innovation, particularly in quantum technology, has become an important part of the government’s agenda,” said Laflamme.
This intersection between the federal government’s interest and the research interests of the University of Waterloo’s IQC is no coincidence. The Canadian government alone committed $3.5 billion in 2013 for research in the post-secondary sector.
Their renewed commitment to the University of Waterloo along with the additional $1.5 billion of funding allocated to this year’s budget, shows how Canada’s government considers research and innovation a key part of its future economic growth and prosperity.
The government motivations for investing in research and innovation is stated in the 2014 economic action plan: “To be successful in the highly competitive global economy, Canada must continue to improve its approach for developing high-quality, talented people, performing world leading research and generating new breakthrough ideas.”
“Innovation and research will allow us to compete with the big guys… If we can compete we have a chance to win,” said Laflamme.
In a world where Canada has to compete with powerful economic actors, investment in research and innovation in post-secondary institutions will not only benefit the institution but Canada’s overall economy, as the benefits extend to small and large businesses in Canada.