Pulling Funding from Ontario an Ominous Action
Ontario’s quantum computing edge at risk amid Ford government funding squeeze
+ Ontario spent tens of millions of dollars to establish a quantum computing institute in Waterloo as a world-leading research hub. But industry watchers worry the province could squander its head start after the Ford government let its funding for the institute lapse.
“Part of the reason why Canada is on the map for quantum computing is because of the investment that was made in IQC so many years ago. … that was a really impressive bit of foresight on behalf of the people who set up and founded and funded that institute in the early days,” says Fursman.
+ Ontario invested early and big in this field. The University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing was founded in 2002 with a record-setting philanthropic donation and support from both the federal and provincial governments. It has since attracted some of the world’s top quantum science talent and is often cited for its leading research.
+ In March, a five-year, $25 million operational funding deal established by the previous provincial Liberal government came to an end, and was not replaced. The institute continues to draw support from federal and industry sources, and a spokesperson says it still receives grants from the province for individual researchers, though the province could not confirm how much.
+ “It strikes me as a missed opportunity,” says Andrew Fursman, CEO and co-founder of 1QBit, a Vancouver-based quantum computing software company, and a fellow in the Creative Destruction Lab’s quantum incubator program in Toronto.
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