Regional Quantum Initiative

15-09-2022

By sbaudin

Quantum technologies are a relatively new field of research that can manipulate electrons, photons, and atoms to solve problems previously thought unsolvable. It has opened up exciting opportunities and exponential growth in various aspects of life: machine learning, logistics, cybersecurity, climate change, bringing greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness among these and other areas.

According to Quantum Technologies in Canada published by Innovate UK, Canada is positioning itself as a world leader in quantum science and technology, and its commercialization and industrialization. To achieve these goals, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) have coordinated to launch Quantum Canada, to “provide a coherent vision for Canada’s national interests in quantum and to ensure that Canada maintains and expands its current advantage in this emerging sector.”

To help companies develop, create and commercialize quantum solutions, many federal agencies and provincial programs contribute sources of funding and guidance to these companies, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIRA), the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), etc.

Regional Quantum Initiative: The Program

As part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing effort to invest in quantum science and technology in order to develop a National Quantum Strategy (NQS) and to stimulate business efforts to develop commercially valuable quantum solutions, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) has launched a program called the Quantum Regional Initiative (QRI). The agency is providing more than $23 million over six years to help eligible companies advance and commercialize their quantum products and solutions for domestic and global markets.

Type of financing available

The funding is an interest-free loan available under this program totaling $23 million. Eligible applicants can receive between $500,000 and $5,000,000 million that is fully repayable 1 year after project completion. Applicants must secure a minimum of 50% of eligible project costs, such as labor, expertise, talent, intellectual property, and equipment costs, which must be reasonable and directly related to eligible project activities.

Applicant Eligibility:

To be eligible for the IQR program, an applicant, if it is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), must be :

  • located in Southern Ontario;
  • incorporated at the time of application;
  • Owns or licenses the intellectual property of the project; and
  • Can cover 50% of eligible project costs.

Eligible Activities:

  • A CQI application may be considered eligible if it meets one or more of the four core activities of the program:
  • Pilot and/or demonstrate quantum technologies, including in operational settings, with a focus on advancing technology systems to market;
  • Commercialize quantum technologies for diagnostics, expansion, supply chain integration, and more;
  • Improving operations through organizational growth, improved management or governance practices, and investment readiness; and
  • Securing, enhancing, or adopting new quantum technologies for companies in priority sectors, such as life sciences, defense, financial technologies, and advanced manufacturing.

The program is a single-phase application process, currently open and accepting applications through September 20, 2022. Want to make your application a success? Contact one of our experts to learn more!

Sara barzizoui

Grants consultant