François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said the contribution will support a $120-million project to develop quantum computer hardware and software systems, ensuring that Canada remains at the forefront of quantum technology development.
“Quantum technology and artificial intelligence are key parts of our government’s plan to make our post-pandemic economy stronger than ever. This investment in D-Wave will help place Canada at the forefront of quantum technology development and will create new jobs and opportunities to help Canadians and make our economy more resilient,” said Champagne.
According to a news release about the deal, the Canadian government the Government of Canada has identified quantum computing as a strategic opportunity for the country and is increasing its support to the sector. Quantum computing is a transformative technology in which Canadian researchers, businesses and workers have developed a leading global advantage. This technology will have a significant impact on the daily lives of Canadians and will be a driver of economic growth and good jobs.
The project will help D-Wave further the advantage of quantum technology over classical computers by enhancing the processing capabilities and computing power of its current systems. To reach this objective, the company will develop a new and more powerful quantum processor and provide additional advancements for its quantum computers.
This investment will also enable D-Wave to provide greater access to its cloud-based service, which is particularly helpful to small and medium-sized Canadian companies that would benefit from access to the power of quantum computing, according to the release. This effort will strengthen the Canadian innovation ecosystem and accelerate the commercialization of quantum computing services.
“D-Wave is proud that its technologies are among those that the Strategic Innovation Fund has invested in,” said Alan Baratz, CEO, D-Wave Systems Inc. “Through support from the Government of Canada, D-Wave will continue to build a global quantum ecosystem showcasing the power of Canadian innovation. We are focused on bringing early quantum hybrid value to diverse fields, including health care, materials science, financial analysis, manufacturing and logistics, and will continue to focus on the prototyping, development, full-scale implementation and deployment of quantum computing systems and services on new innovative architectures and designs.”
Through this project, D-Wave commits to creating and maintaining up to 200 jobs, employing up to 10 co-op students annually, and spending more than $480 million on R&D. D-Wave will also provide quantum computing access to qualified members of the quantum computing ecosystem in Canada to encourage its development.
“Canada is in an innovation race, and the federal government is committed to growing the economy and creating well-paying jobs,” said Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the global demand for transformative technologies, and there is a real opportunity for Canada to be a world leader in this field. Today’s investment in D-Wave will help to place Canada at the forefront of quantum technology development and will create new jobs and opportunities to help Canadians and advance the economy.”
As late, D-Wave has notched some impressive research wins, including the use of their computer to better understand complex magnetic phases in materials and boosting financial forecasting. However, media reports also suggested that D-Waves valuation was cut in half.
The company has recently starting shifting its strategy away from selling computers, which listed for US$15-million, in favor a model that offers cloud-based access to the machines.