Government of Canada partners with digital industries to invest in ground-breaking technology and businesses

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Investment in quantum and artificial intelligence-related innovation to create and support hundreds of jobs

April 18, 2019 – Waterloo, Ontario         

The Government of Canada is building the foundation for Canadian innovators to invest, strengthen communities, grow our economy and create good middle-class jobs. The Government is partnering with groundbreaking digital industries to invest in quantum-related technologies and skills development. This will mean smarter security systems to better protect Canadians’ homes, more powerful digital security tools to secure their online transactions, and more efficient medicines to improve their health.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a total investment of $41 million in one Waterloo-based not-for-profit and three start-up companies developing cutting-edge products that integrate quantum, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. The total cost of the projects is $101.8 million.

Together, these investments will help create up to 167 new skilled jobs and maintain 75 jobs in Waterloo. The companies will increase their investments in research and development and strengthen their collaborations with post-secondary institutions to help drive the growth of a vibrant and world-leading Canadian quantum ecosystem.

The four investments include:

  • $20 million for the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab (QVIL), a non-profit charitable organization, to develop a unique facility that will create new quantum-related products and businesses. This project will allow Ideas Lab to establish dedicated teams of quantum researchers, engineers and technology experts. These teams will develop new innovations in the areas of quantum sensors, navigation, security, encryption and computing. These innovations will attract new companies to the Waterloo region and help some of those already there scale up and grow. QVIL’s project is valued at $43.4 million.
  • $7.3 million for Cognitive Systems to develop the next generation of its patented WiFi Motion™ software, technology that uses the home’s Wi-Fi network to identify and localize motion for the security, smart home and wellness monitoring markets. Cognitive’s project will integrate artificial intelligence into its software while expanding its technology across a wider range of devices that aim to help protect Canadian homes and residents. Cognitive’s project is valued at $25.1 million.
  • $6.5 million for High Q Technologies to develop new quantum technologies that will enable potentially life-saving treatments for illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis. The project will leverage recent advances in quantum technology to develop new and improved medical devices that will allow researchers to study diseases and pharmaceutical companies to produce new medicines more efficiently. High Q’s project is valued at $17.6 million.
  • $7.2 million for ISARA Corporation to develop new approaches to quantum-safe security to protect mission-critical data, IT infrastructure and networks today and in the quantum age. Because future large-scale quantum computers will be able to easily break existing encryption methods, the project will enable the development of practical, standardized quantum-safe encryption tools and solutions that large enterprises (such as financial institutions and governments) can easily implement using their existing systems. ISARA’s project is valued at $15.7 million.

Quotes

“Our government is partnering with Canadians to invest, grow and succeed in the global economy. We are champions of the groundbreaking work being conducted in the labs and start-ups of the Kitchener–Waterloo region. Today’s investment in the Quantum Valley will create and support hundreds of good jobs and help develop new technologies that will improve the lives of Canadians.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“What we have right here in the Waterloo region is what our government is looking to foster across the country through our Innovation and Skills Plan. Like this region’s investors, entrepreneurs and collaborators, our government is committed to promoting innovation throughout the economy and encouraging inclusive growth. That’s why we’re thrilled to invest in Waterloo’s growing Quantum Valley and all the jobs and opportunities it’s creating here in our community.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“Simply put, quantum mechanics allows us to do things that are impossible under classical rules. Our vision for the Quantum Valley was not only to build state-of-the-art Canadian labs with world-class researchers that can develop new and transformative quantum technologies but also to help establish and grow exciting new Canadian businesses that will take these technologies to global markets. To me, it’s all about people. Attract and retain the most promising people and enable their success and big things will happen.”
–Mike Lazaridis, O.C., O.Ont., FRS, FRSC, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Quantum Valley Investments

Quick facts

·         Quantum technology is a new field of physics and engineering related to the energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles. Its application in technology has the potential to make a vast range of electronics smaller and faster.

·         The investment in the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, through FedDev Ontario, is supporting the development of a world-leading ecosystem that partners with industry to create transformative, market-ready quantum technologies, reinforcing Canada’s leadership position in the global quantum revolution. Ideas Lab was founded in 2015 with a $20-million commitment from Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin.

·         Cognitive, High Q and ISARA are all financially backed by Quantum Valley Investments, a venture capital firm aiming to position Waterloo as a world leader in quantum technologies. Additionally, ISARA received $13 million from Shasta Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies.

·         The investments in Cognitive, High Q and ISARA are through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors.

·         In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

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