April 20, 2021

UCalgary welcomes Ottawa’s commitment to quantum research

Federal budget includes $360 million National Quantum Strategy, additional funding for research, students and skills development
Photon detector

The University of Calgary welcomes the Government of Canada’s investments in post-secondary education, research and innovation announced in Budget 2021. These announcements include: enhanced student education grants, pledged to create thousands of new work opportunities for youth and dedicated $360 million in new funding for a National Quantum Strategy to amplify Canada’s strength in quantum research and solidify Canada’s global leadership.

“We appreciate the Government of Canada investment in youth skills development and in research — particularly for quantum computing and life sciences,” says University of Calgary President Ed McCauley.

Supporting quantum computing

Through the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and leadership in Quantum Alberta, UCalgary is an emerging leader in advancing quantum science and technology. UCalgary discoveries are already helping to establish Alberta as a national and international hub for quantum computing and related industries.

“Thanks to a unique collaboration of nearly 130 academics in computer science, mathematics, chemistry and physics, the University of Calgary’s transdisciplinary approach to quantum science is driving digital transformations, developing advanced technologies and sparking economic growth," says McCauley

Federal investments in this area allow Canada to stake a leadership claim in quantum. This will foster entirely new industries here in Alberta in a space that is already emerging as critically important to the future global economy.

Supporting life sciences and biomanufacturing

The budget also reflects increases in funding for life sciences and biomanufacturing. A recognized leader in life sciences, the University of Calgary attracts more funding per graduate student than any of the top 10 universities in Canada and has one of the fastest rates of growth. The university is a hub for new life science discoveries, with more than half of sponsored research funding being received in areas of health and life sciences.  

“Investments in health and life sciences are investments in us all," McCauley says. "Investments such as those that made the University of Calgary’s Biosafety Level 3 lab — one of few places in Canada where researchers can work on infectious diseases like Covid-19 — pay long-term dividends for quality of life.”

Of benefit to all post-secondary students, the federal budget includes funding for skills development and waives interest on Canadian Student Loans until next March. It also promises to extend the doubling of the Canada Student Grants until July 2023 and aims to establish 215,000 new work opportunities for youth over the next five years.

Budget 2021 provides funding in other areas where the University of Calgary has made the strategic decision to focus on and grow: life sciences, energy transformations, city building and exploring digital worlds.

“Every day our world-leading researchers are tackling the big problems. From health sciences to climate change to what it means to be a citizen in 2021 and everything in between, this broad-based research enriches our society," McCauley says. "Federal government support allows the University of Calgary to continue building an innovation ecosystem that will drive this country forward.

Find more details on the 2021 Federal Budget.