A new industry association aiming to support companies in the quantum computing field this month unveiled its first chief executive officer.
Quantum Industry Canada, initially conceived in 2021, announced Vancouver-based business consultant Lisa Lambert as CEO.
Lambert has dedicated her career to innovation and impact, according to the nonprofit consortium, which already boasts a membership of more than 40 commercial-ready quantum-related firms. She is a cofounder of Spotlight Trust, a leadership development partner that helps organizations harness the power of trust to become more effective.
“It’s an honour to lead QIC, and I’m excited about the innovation and prosperity that can be unlocked by Canada’s emerging quantum industry,” Lambert said in a statement.
“I’m looking forward to working with QIC’s members and partners to amplify and augment the commercial success of Canada’s burgeoning quantum sector,” she continued.
“We’re thrilled to have her on the team,” said Dr. Michele Mosca, the industry association’s board chair. “Lisa’s leadership will be invaluable in guiding QIC’s strategic direction, representing our members’ interests, and accelerating our impact in this dynamic field.”
QIC’s mission is to ensure that Canadian quantum innovation and talent is translated into Canadian business success and economic prosperity.
Goals of the nonprofit include communicating Canada’s commercial-readiness in quantum tech for a global audience of strategic partners; educating about the growth opportunity in Canada to attract financing and talent to the ecosystem; and building commercial pathways for Canada’s quantum companies from R&D to deployment to support both startups and mature players in achieving success.
The association’s chair, Mosca, believes we are at “a pivotal time for the fast-growing quantum industry, both within Canada and on a global scale.”
According to a 2020 study commissioned by the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian quantum industry is estimated to be a $139 billion industry and account for 209,000 jobs by 2045.
That is why in March, the federal government offered $1.4 million to Quantum Industry Canada as part of the National Quantum Strategy, which is backed by an investment of more than $300 million.
“The science of today will be the economy of tomorrow, and quantum science is at the forefront of that shift,” asserted François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in March. “We will ensure that quantum continues to be a success story for Canadian businesses and will continue to help the industry provide the world with sought-after solutions.”
In BC, the quantum ecosystem is robust.
Last year, Surrey’s Quantum Algorithms Institute teamed up with Xanadu, a Toronto-based world leader in photonic quantum computing, to build a skilled future workforce that will drive economic growth. And the region boasts some of the world’s forerunning quantum firms, including D-Wave Systems, which this year collaborated with the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.
“D-Wave is a BC innovation success story, driving the global race to solve the complex problems of today and tomorrow through quantum computing while creating jobs and opportunity here at home,” BC Premier David Eby stated in July while visiting the company’s flagship Burnaby campus. “I am impressed by these technological advancements and encouraged to see firsthand that applications on D-Wave technology can help with a wide range of critical challenges including climate change, supply chains and energy.”
Spun from UBC research in 1999, D-Wave raised $40 million in 2021 from the federal government before going public by merging with DPCM Capital, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, last year.