University of Waterloo gets $76 million for quantum research

The University of Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing is receiving $76.3 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. As well, a water research project involving several Canadian universities - including UW and Wilfrid Laurier University - received $77 million.

Water project involving both Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University also receives $77 million

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan high fives students at the University of Waterloo after announcing $900 million in funding to science research across Canada. (@uwaterloo/Twitter)

The University of Waterloo is going to receive $76 million in federal funding for quantum research.

Transformative Quantum Technologies will receive $76.3 million through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. David Cory,is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing at Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing. He'll head up the research, which will develop a universal quantum processor, quantum sensors and long-distance quantum communications.

"Quantum devices have the potential to change the world. We would like to see this happen," Cory said during Tuesday's funding announcement at the school.

The University of Waterloo had to apply for the funding, president and vice chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur said, and 51 institutions across the country put forward proposals. In total, 13 projects will share $900 million in funding.

"We knew that our proposal would establish Canada's undisputed leadership in quantum research," Hamdullahpur said. "It is clear to me now that this current government values fundamental research."

Water project also given funds

A second project receiving funding and that involves researchers from across the country, including the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, is Global Water Futures.

That project is led by the University of Saskatchewan and will receive $77 million, $15 million of which will go to the University of Waterloo's Water Institute, led by Philippe Van Cappellen, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology. The goal of that project is to bring together research on water resources, aquatic ecosystems, climate and land use change to address the threats and opportunities in the availability and quality of water in Canada and in cold regions around the world. 

"Canada urgently needs a coordinated, research-driven approach to manage and sustain our vast freshwater resources, and with this support, we're going to be better able to adapt to the new climate normal," Van Cappellen said in a release after the announcement.

Jennifer Baltzer, associate professor in the department of biology at Laurier and the Canada Research Chair in Forests and Global Change, said the partnership allows researchers and students to work alongside government partners.

"The scale of this collaboration and support will allow Laurier researchers to bring our extensive network of living laboratories across the Northwest Territories to bear on addressing solutions to water futures in the North," Baltzer said. 

"The resulting cross-cutting, integrative research will foster solutions to the pressing issues that communities, industry and governments are experiencing surrounding water security in the face of global change."

with files from Adetayo Bero

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