Federal and Provincial governments in Canada continue to invest in companies and start-ups to help cultivate a burgeoning quantum technology ecosystem.
Canadian government support continues to bolster growth in key sectors including computing, communications, health care, transportation logistics, navigation and cybersecurity, using quantum computers. In 2017, the National Research Council of Canada conducted an economic analysis that estimated that by 2030, the Canadian quantum technology industry could reach a worth of $8.2 billion, creating 16,000 jobs. By 2040, the study estimated that quantum computing in Canada could grow into a $142.4 billion industry, employing 229,000 people. The estimates for 2040 are based on the expectation that quantum technology will reach 50% adoption in the above mentioned industries.
Canadian government funding of quantum computing projects has already placed Canada as a global leader in the field, ranking first in per capita spending on quantum computing research and fifth overall among the G7, in 2019.
Between 2005 and 2020, and mainly through grant agency programs such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada programs and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the Canadian government has invested more than $1 billion in quantum research and science to support the growth of the key sectors in Canada.
As part of the Federal Budget released on April 19, 2021, the Government of Canada announced a significant investment of $360 million over seven years to launch a National Quantum Strategy, to continue growing and supporting Canada’s quantum technology ecosystem. The Canadian Government’s ongoing investments in Canadian SMEs and start-ups continues to maintain Canada’s place as a leader in quantum computing technology.
Some of the Canadian government funding targeted at growing Canada’s quantum technology ecosystem also include:
- July 2015 – The Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellent fund investing $66.5 million (over seven years) in the University of British Columbia’s Quantum Matter Institute.
- September 2016 – The Government of Canada announced a landmark investment of $900 million to 13 postsecondary institutions through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Of this investment, the University of Waterloo received just over $76 million for Transformative Quantum Technologies.
- April 2019 – FedDev Ontario contributed $20 million to support Waterloo’s Quantum Valley Ideas Lab. This contribution formed a part of a $41-million Government of Canada investment towards the growth of the Quantum Valley ecosystem.
- March 2020 – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced a $40 million contribution to D-Wave Systems Inc. This contribution supported an ongoing $120 million project to develop quantum computer hardware and software systems.
- July 2021 – The Government of Canada’s Western Economic Diversification Canada fund invested $2.21 million The Quantum Algorithm Institute at SFU Surrey.
The continued support of the Federal Government in quantum research and quantum ready technologies allows Canadian quantum SMEs and research institutes to attract and retain highly qualified personnel eager to grow the quantum space. These highly qualified personnel in turn contribute to the development, growth and commercialization of unique quantum technologies that continue to solidify Canada’s global leadership in the area.