The University of Calgary has received $11.8 million in funding this year, supporting leading-edge research that will help establish Alberta as a national and international hub for quantum computing and related spinoff industries. This work will position Alberta as a leader in solving global health challenges and advancing technologies for the energy and environmental sectors.

As part of this funding, researchers at the University have been awarded $3 million through the province’s Major Innovation Fund, which will help the University of Calgary’s Quantum Alberta network take advantage of the province’s academic strengths and investment opportunities to establish Alberta as a leader in quantum technologies. Growth in this sector will help attract talent to the province, create long-term jobs, and help commercialize new technologies in a number of areas including molecular chemistry, large-scale biological research, geological exploration, space technology and quantum satellite communications.

The Major Innovation Fund also provided $3.9 million to the university for research on antimicrobial resistance. The University of Calgary will use this money to help position Alberta as a world leader in addressing global challenges when bacteria or viruses stop responding effectively to treatment. This research will support infection prevention and control strategies that will protect human, animal and environmental health around the world.

Commercializing new materials and technologies coming from the university for the environmental and energy sectors will also be made easier with $4.9 million through the Research Capacity Program. This funding for the university’s SMILE-UVI satellite project will contribute to the international space mission, and pay for research to study how space radiation impacts our upper atmosphere, industrial infrastructure, and technology in applications like enhanced GPS and satellite imaging in oil and gas mining.

“Diversifying our economy has never been more important. That’s why we are investing in UCalgary’s quantum technology project. Establishing Alberta as a leader in quantum technologies will give a competitive boost to our economy and create new jobs today and for the future.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The benefits of research and collaboration among students, the research community and industries are critical to the future of post-secondary education. Creating a platform for learning, design and commercialization is essential to getting students the skills they’ll need to find good jobs and careers, while developing opportunities that will help rebuild Alberta’s economy and strengthen the potential of our post-secondary institutions.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“This funding from the Government of Alberta helps ensure that we can translate new research findings into lasting and measurable benefits to society as quickly as possible. The impacts of these groundbreaking research projects on the magnetosphere, antimicrobial resistance and quantum technologies will be significant for new job creation and commercialization activities in key sectors.”

Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

“Government of Alberta funding for research is vital to growing our economy and I applaud their investment. The technologies and innovations that are developed in Alberta create the potential for commercialization, company creation and job growth – all things that are vitally needed at this time in our history. The funding announced for the University of Calgary is another critical step in supporting research that will one day generate prosperity in Alberta and spur competitiveness for our economy.”

Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts

  • Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering that relies on the principles of quantum physics.
    • Applications of quantum technologies include highly accurate sensor technology (for use in oil and gas or construction, for example), secure communications, and computing (for computer optimization or machine learning uses).
      • Alberta’s government previously supported the Quantum Nanophotonics Lab at the university, a project that studied the science of light interactions at the nano-molecular level, providing a $290,000 grant from 2012-15.
  • The Major Innovation Fund supports research and innovation investments to attract and retain top talent to Alberta and support industries and local businesses.
  • The Research Capacity Program helps Alberta’s post-secondary institutions get the small equipment and large research infrastructure they need to attract, retain and develop researchers in the province.
    • Previous examples of RCP funding include 3D printers for SAIT, new smart infrastructure for Olds College and funding for artificial intelligence research.
Alberta's Recovery Plan