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30 July 2015

Quantum Technologies: the Université de Sherbrooke Is Granted Record Funding of $33.5 Million

The Université de Sherbrooke is launching an ambitious project, De la science quantique aux technologies quantiques (From Quantum Science to Quantum Technologies), supported by a major investment of $33.5 million over seven years from the Government of Canada.

This constitutes the largest research grant in the history of the Université de Sherbrooke. This initiative will help the UdeS, which is already internationally recognized in the field of quantum physics, to strengthen its position as a leader in this promising area contributing to ground-breaking developments in ITs, the manufacturing industry, energy, and health, among other fields.

The research work will focus on quantum materials and quantum computing. Under the guidance of Professor Alexandre Blais, working together on the project will be physicists and researchers from the Faculty of Science at the UdeS: Patrick Fournier, Ion Garate, Michel Pioro-Ladrière, David Poulin, David Sénéchal, André-Marie Tremblay, Bertrand Reulet, and Louis Taillefer.

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The professor Alexandre Blais and some of the researchers under it’s direction for this project : Christian Sara-Bournet and the professors André-Marie Tremblay, Michel Pioro-Ladrière and David Poulin

At the same time, this Université de Sherbrooke initiative will foster collaboration with high-tech companies (such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft), renowned research centres, and startup companies.

The project will also promote the creation of innovative businesses: “The potential of the quantum realm in terms of innovation is phenomenal and is already spurring the entrepreneurial drive not only of our professors and their collaborators, but also of our students,” said Alexandre Blais.

This investment from the federal government is being granted through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which aims to support world-class research in Canadian postsecondary institutions. The UdeS is one of the five Canadian universities selected in this fund’s inaugural competition.

Revolutions on the horizon

Quantum physics began at the turn of the 20th century, defying common-sense notions with its unexpected and surprising microscopic properties. For example, it predicted that atoms can be in two places at once, and that electrical current can flow simultaneously in both directions in a wire!

Modern technologies have already been developed from quantum physics, such as transistors, lasers, and the Internet, but the potential for discoveries and new revolutionary technologies is by no means exhausted!

In time, quantum materials could make it possible to build computers with enormous processing power, magnetic resonance imaging machines the size of laptop computers, and lossless power networks.

Sources : Université de Sherbrooke, Canada Government and Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Photo Credit : Université de Sherbrooke

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