SURREY - The province is funnelling millions of dollars into Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus to open B.C.’s first-ever quantum computing institute.
The project is aimed at creating jobs and attracting talent to Surrey. It’s expected to position Central Surrey as Metro Vancouver’s second downtown core.
“We are investing in a new quantum algorithms institute to be housed here at Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University,” said Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology during a press conference Wednesday morning.
The province has committed to spending $17 million dollars over the next five years.
Quantum computing is currently being used in a wide variety of industries including clean technology, forestry, and heath science.
Local companies D-Wave and 1Qbit will be partnering with the institute.
“We’re excited to work with the institute and with companies and schools across the province to continue cutting-edge work that’s being done in the sector and to help train the next generation of students in quantum computing technologies,” said Landon Downs, president of 1Qbit.
“If conventional computing is flipping a coin, one side or the other. Quantum computing is like spinning a coin where you’re doing all those calculations simultaneously,” explained Ralston.
The new institute is designed to attract skilled workers and tech companies to Surrey to create Metro Vancouver’s second downtown.
“Absolutely want to compliment the work in Vancouver, not replace that,” said Premier John Horgan.
The business community says the plan makes a lot of sense.
“We have great access to industrial land. We have affordable work force housing stock. We speak 104 different languages in our city,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.
The NDP government hopes this will create an innovation corridor from Vancouver through the Fraser Valley and beyond.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says the city’s border with Washington State is also an asset.
“On behalf of all the residents of our great city in Surrey, we’re very very pleased with this announcement,” said McCallum.
The new institute will run out of existing buildings on the Surrey Campus.
No word yet on when the program will officially open.