Many aspects of quantum computing are on the agenda today at the kickoff of Quantum Days 2023, a virtual three-day conference where topics will range from what organizers describe as “cutting-edge academic research in theory and experiment, to industrial applications, social impact, public policy and careers.” front
Shohini Ghose, conference chair and professor of physics and computer science at Wilfred Laurier University, reflects on how much has changed since the first Quantum Day was held in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
“That seems like a long time ago,” she said. “Many of us find it isolating and challenging to work at home, but that’s what makes it special. It gave us the opportunity to connect more than 1,000 participants from all sectors of the quantum community, and from coast to coast and even beyond. And the momentum has continued to build. And as two years earlier, this year, you will also be able to meet a thousand of your quantum fans. So welcome everyone.”
Ghose urged delegates to attend sessions that are “really far outside your expertise, where you don’t know what it’s all about and I hope you get out.
“Secondly, let’s get engaged. As you know, the National Quantum Strategy was announced on Friday. And this is a big moment for us here in Canada. And it will affect not only the science and research we do, it will affect humans and society.
“How are we going to build this quantum society of the future responsibly and ethically? There are many sessions at this conference where you have the opportunity to discuss this, and to have your voice heard as well.
Backed by the $360 million investment committed in Budget 2021, this strategy seeks to help Canadian quantum technology, companies, and talent grow.
Of that budget, $141 million will go towards basic and applied research, $45 million will be targeted at developing and retaining quantum talent, and $169 million will be used to enable the commercialization of quantum products.
François-Philippe Champagne, federal minister of innovation, science and industry, made the official announcement, and today, in a virtual address outlined the importance of both strategy and quantum computing itself.
“Canada should take the moment, and lead the way. Already, we are doing impressive work in science and research behind quantum,” he said. “But now is the time to take our place at the forefront of the quantum revolution.
“That’s why last week, I was pleased to announce the launch of Canada’s national quantum strategy supported by an investment of $ 360 million. This strategy will increase the strength of Canada in quantum research, the development of quantum technologies, companies and talent, from batteries in EVs (electric vehicles) , to power grids, to supply chains, or even how drugs and medicines are developed. The uses of quantum technology are endless and the possibilities are endless.