Université de Sherbrooke

Innovation, Partnership and Entrepreneurship Strategy: From Quantum Science to Quantum Technologies

Quantum physics is strange. Among other things, it predicts that atoms can occupy two places at once and that, under the right conditions, electrical current in a wire can flow simultaneously in two opposite directions. Despite apparent contradictions like these, in the last century, physicists and engineers have learned to use the less peculiar aspects of quantum theory to establish the technological bases of modern society: the transistor and the laser.

Without quantum physics, there would be no Internet. Computers would fill entire buildings, rather than fit comfortably in your pocket. The power of quantum physics to surprise and to transform society is, however, far from exhausted; it is now recognized that exploiting some of its strangest aspects will lead to transformative new quantum technologies.

Université de Sherbrooke recognized the potential of quantum science early on, as demonstrated through its substantial investments in the field over the last 40 years. Today, the university’s physicists are developing and exploring new materials whose properties are dictated by quantum theory. These quantum materials hold tremendous promise, from transporting electricity over long distances without loss, to supporting the development of quantum information devices capable of actively exploiting quantum effects. These devices will make possible computers of extraordinary processing power, detectors with unprecedented sensitivity and vastly improved secure communications.

This major initiative will support research focused on the interface of quantum materials and quantum information science. The meeting point of these two fields offers an immense potential for discovery and innovation, from the discovery of new materials offering enhanced information processing capabilities and techniques to new methods for studying and probing quantum materials.

From Quantum Science to Quantum Technology seeks to develop a synergy between these fields while taking advantage of the micro-nanofabrication engineering expertise at Université de Sherbrooke. The initiative complements the Université de Sherbrooke’s strategy for innovation, partnership and entrepreneurship, which provides a business friendly environment to promote and enhance collaboration with industry, promote entrepreneurship and boost competitiveness and productivity. Furthermore, our partnership with global tech companies and research centrespushing the limits of quantum-based research—including Google and Microsoft—strategically positions us to broaden our reach on the global stage.

The “Innovation, Partnership and Entrepreneurship Strategy” will allow our world-class research to seamlessly move from quantum science to quantum technology and make Université de Sherbrooke, and thus Canada, a key player in the quantum-based industry of the 21st century. This strategy will enable Université de Sherbrooke to excel, innovate and consolidate the critical mass required to support research and growth in strategic socio-economic sectors such as information technology, manufacturing, energy and health. Université de Sherbrooke’s knowledge mobilization strategy will provide a business-friendly ecosystem to stimulate and increase collaboration with industry, foster entrepreneurship and boost discoveries, competitiveness and productivity.