The Institut quantique's new building

A unique and exciting place for quantum science and quantum technologies

Photo : Michel Caron UdeS

With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and laboratories, as well as unique workspaces for creative exchanges and meetings, the new building housing the Université de Sherbrooke’s (UdeS) Institut quantique (IQ) will help incubate tomorrow’s technological revolutions.

As well as contributing to train highly specialized personnel in quantum that are currently in high demand, the new building will also host international conferences, summer schools and specialized workshops. The new building is already contributing to IQ and UdeS’s international outreach. It will also help recruit talented quantum researchers and attract new partners.

The inauguration brought together some 150 people, including the Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, Élisabeth Brière; the Mayor of Sherbrooke, Évelyne Beaudin; the Rector of the Université de Sherbrooke, Pr Pierre Cossette; the Scientific Director of Institut quantique (IQ), Pr Alexandre Blais; and the Deputy Director, Pr Michel Pioro-Ladrière.

Guests were able to visit the new building and experience its unique architecture comprised of curves and spirals, which are inspired by a dilution refrigerator, the instrument at the heart of quantum research. Representing an investment of more than $13 million, the new pavilion received funding from the Government of Canada, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, as well as from the Université de Sherbrooke and its partners.

For the university Rector, this new addition to the campus illustrates IQ’s community dynamism: “The research activities here are of international caliber and place Sherbrooke at the heart of quantum efforts in Quebec and in Canada. Following the Innovation Zone designation, this signature building on our campus is further proof of this field of research’s importance for the Université de Sherbrooke.”

“Institut quantique’s scientific excellence and the quality of the facilities we are providing are the two pillars of our appeal, which we hope will be global,” adds Rector Cossette. The research, scientific exchanges, transferred applications and training activities that will take place here are an UdeS contribution to changing the world while understanding that these technologies are at the service of people and society.”

“Quantum science is transforming the way we design and engineer everything around us. It is a source of research and innovation, which is why our government supports researchers and scientists in pursuing their work in this emerging and revolutionary discipline. As we develop Canada’s National Quantum Strategy, the Institut quantique de l’Université de Sherbrooke stands out as a perfect example of the contribution necessary to consolidate our role as a leader in the technologies of the future”. -The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, added: “The Institut quantique (IQ) pavilion at the Université de Sherbrooke, a true hub of quantum knowledge and technology in Canada, is the result of a bold, ambitious and inclusive vision. Quantum science is booming here in Sherbrooke, due in part to our dynamic researchers and the funding provided by the Government of Canada. This cutting-edge technology is increasing our capacity in cybersecurity, communications and computer science in ways that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. IQ is accelerating this revolution by building bridges between science and the technologies of tomorrow. Congratulations on this major milestone.”

“Quebec is developing world-class expertise in quantum technologies, a field I am proud to have supported with the creation of the Sherbrooke Innovation Zone. All this is possible thanks to our researchers, who will now be able to meet in a new pavilion that meets their ambitions,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development.

“The Eastern Townships region, and in particular the city of Sherbrooke, is now a reference in quantum technology. It has a solid and diversified research and innovation ecosystem that is making an impact here and elsewhere in the world. The Institut quantique channels the knowledge and efforts of all the stakeholders in the field with the goal of making Quebec a key centre in this cutting-edge field,” says Geneviève Hébert, MNA for Saint-François.

“The Université de Sherbrooke is once again showing its innovative character with the creation of this pavilion. It is a great asset for our city to have an institution with such vision and leadership in the university world. Thanks to the Université de Sherbrooke, the future will happen here,” added the mayor of Sherbrooke, Évelyne Beaudin.

For IQ’s Scientific Director, Prof. Alexandre Blais, the potential of quantum science and technology is only just beginning to surface: “Discoveries in the field of quantum science are accelerating and the potential results are vast. Turning these ideas into reality requires fundamental and applied research, state-of-the-art infrastructure and multidisciplinary expertise. These ingredients have come together in Institut quantique’s new building.”

Thanks to this building, internationally recognized experts in quantum materials, quantum computing and quantum engineering will be able to come together under one roof. “Research happens in the labs, science happens in the hallways.” That’s how Deputy Director Prof. Michel Pioro-Ladrière summed up the mindset of those involved in the design: “To foster interactions between IQ’s members, the building itself becomes a research facility. By encouraging ideas to collide, we think we can create a synergy to make it a place where there’s better thinking, more creativity. And that’s how we’re going to make greater scientific discoveries.” The professor took the opportunity to thank partners, and most importantly, IQ’s community who helped make this project a reality.

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