The federal government will invest $40 million in a Toronto company to help it develop the “computer of the future,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Jan. 23.
“As many of you know, I get really excited by quantum computing,” Trudeau said while visiting the installations of Xanadu Quantum Technologies.
The prime minister said the company had just achieved “quantum advantage” with a machine that can process faster than the world’s fastest computer.
“If you gave a specific problem to a classical supercomputer, it might take 9000 years for them to solve it. The quantum computer can do it in less than a second,” he added.
The investment pertains to building and commercializing the world’s first photonic-based and fault-tolerant quantum computer.
Trudeau mentioned the fields of pharmaceuticals, logistics, and forecasting to explain how the technology will be applied.
These computers “can also help us model climate change, which will help us build a safer future,” he said.
Trudeau was accompanied by Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne who also shared the prime minister’s enthusiasm about Xanadu.
He said people are coming from everywhere in the world to Toronto because they “know that something is happening.”
“It’s good to see that Canada is still that big magnet for talent, where people are thinking about quantum they know that the future is here.”
Champagne had announced the launch of his National Quantum Strategy on Jan. 13, with a goal of supporting the growth of the sector.
It comes with a $360 million price tag committed in Budget 2021.
The three main objectives of the strategy are to support research, develop, attract, and retain talent, and to bring the developed products to market.
Despite large taxpayer sums invested by the government in innovation, some have criticized the lack of demonstrable results.
“How the Liberals’ multibillion-dollar tech plan created ‘chaos’ instead of growth” is the title of a piece published by The Globe & Mail on Jan. 20.
Trudeau was asked to comment on the voices criticizing his innovation policies as not having led to growth of the tech sector or the GDP, or business investments in research and development.
“Despite what people say, we continue to be committed to a high tech future for Canada,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to stand by our investments in research, we’re going to continue to make sure that innovative technologies like quantum computing are continuing to evolve and become more available to companies across Canada and around the world.”