QUEBEC’S DIGITAL AND QUANTUM INNOVATION PLATFORM ADDS THE COUNTRY’S FIRST IBM QUANTUM SYSTEM ONE TO ITS HPC AND ACCELERATED DISCOVERY CAPABILITIES
Operationalized by the Plateforme d’innovation numérique et quantique du Québec (PINQ²), the new quantum computing offer for SMEs, large companies, institutions and other organizations will be added to existing services in high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and digital learning.
Montreal, January 23, 2023 – The Plateforme d’innovation numérique et quantique du Québec (PINQ²), a non-profit organization (NPO) founded by the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie du Québec (MEIE) and the Université de Sherbrooke in 2020, underlines that Quebec will host Canada’s first IBM Quantum System One, beginning in the second half of 2023, in addition to offering affordable services to institutions and organizations active in digital technologies, facilitating synergies between academic and industrial forces to assist them in the rapid development and advancement of projects and solutions with the potential to transform their respective sectors and society.
PINQ2’s mission is to accelerate the digital transformation of Quebec companies and organizations, while providing support to companies elsewhere, through service offerings that leverage new, cutting-edge technologies for accelerated discovery of new solutions to important problems. In addition to quantum computing, the cutting-edge technology and hybrid infrastructure operated by PINQ2 will also include several components, including high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), advanced data analysis, simulation software in various domains, etc.
As Quebec is in the midst of a vast technological shift, the commissioning of a quantum computing system will help Quebec companies explore the possibilities of this new technology and understand how it may offer a competitive advantage. When the IBM Quantum System One is operational at IBM Bromont, it will provide opportunities for exploration across important global and social challenges.
The presence of the IBM Quantum System One in the territory will not only be of great help to competent companies that already have extensive knowledge in quantum computing, but will also be a great opportunity for the Quebec ecosystem to train and develop their knowledge in order to create value with quantum technologies.
The inauguration of the PINQ² offering was attended by Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Jay Gambetta, Vice President, IBM Quantum, Alexandre Blais, Scientific Director of the Institut Quantique, as well as many other industrial, financial and academic partners.
“Thanks to the IBM Quantum System One in Quebec, we can truly say that there will be a ‘before’ and an ‘after’,” said Éric Capelle, PINQ2’s general manager. We are joining a very small global group with access to such sophisticated technology that aims to generate a multitude of discoveries and breakthroughs over the years. The launch of this new service offering marks a transformative milestone. It is a remarkable new chapter.”
“This represents a major advance in our technological capabilities and know-how, which we will make available to solve societal challenges, whether in climate, health, energy or markets,” said Gaël Humbert, PINQ2’s Director of Business Development and Strategy. “This is an important step in the province’s technological evolution, which will have repercussions in many areas here, on the national and international scene. With the Quebec IBM Quantum Computation Center in Bromont, a new era is upon us.”
“PINQ2 is set to play a key role in Québec’s digital transformation. Thanks to its state-of-the-art calculation infrastructure and expertise, companies will be able to carry out innovative research and development projects, thus boosting not only their own productivity, but also Québec’s overall competitiveness,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy.
An exclusive offer
It is noteworthy that Quebec will be the only place in the world, outside the United States, to have a Discovery Accelerator partnership with IBM, in addition to its own HPC infrastructure and access to a state-of-the-art quantum computer entirely dedicated to research and industrial innovation.
Thanks to PINQ²’s unique infrastructure, companies will benefit from data sovereignty and privacy. The data generated on Canadian territory will remain in-country and will not be stored elsewhere. PINQ² will be aligned with the industry’s best security standards, while guaranteeing the sovereignty of data and intellectual property.
By September 2023, the installation of the IBM Quantum System One at IBM Bromont will be complete and available to serve Quebec and Canadian customers, and allow them to take full advantage of the sovereignty of the data produced here.
Focus on three niche areas and the Discovery Accelerator
While offering its services to several fields, PINQ2 seeks above all to support projects focused on three major issues affecting the world and society in general: climate change and the development of solutions that can slow down these changes and help people adapt to them, the development of clean and renewable energy resources and systems that can meet growing needs, and health research to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and drugs. Access to quantum computing resources located in Quebec will therefore play a major role in the exploration of these solutions for the potential benefit our collective future.
As for the commercial aspects, in parallel to PINQ2 offering Quebec-based Quantum-as-a-service access, it will also provide important support to companies through the Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator, which aims to accelerate the design phases and reduce the time between innovations tested in laboratory conditions and their arrival on the market, all resulting from a collaborative program between universities and companies to propel technology transfer.
“As a founding partner of PINQ2, the Université de Sherbrooke is delighted with the launch of this unique service offering which will contribute to supporting Quebec companies in the use of high performance computing and quantum applications, thanks to the partnership with our world-renowned Quantum Institute”, said Professor Pierre Cossette, Rector of the Université de Sherbrooke. “PINQ2 greatly embodies the partnership model that characterizes our university. As does our institution, in collaboration with Quebec’s entire academic network, PINQ2 will contribute to the training of highly qualified employees capable of meeting the needs of organizations across Quebec.”
The Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator also seeks to contribute to discoveries by focusing on the optimization of complex algorithms, ranging from the modeling of innovative materials to the micro-depth analysis of genes, as well as theoretical simulations.
“Triple A”, a unique collaborative approach
In order to accelerate the digital transformation and to accompany Quebec companies, PINQ² has developed a collaborative one-stop approach, called “triple A”, which aims to structure the service strategy. The triple A approach is made up of three pillars aiming at the long-term autonomy of the companies that will receive support, namely:
– Activate: needs assessment, clear definition of targets and implementation of a roadmap to activate the process or product transformation;
– Support: providing the technological and human resources necessary to deliver the client’s initiatives;
– Accelerate: Accompanying the delivery in action through the support offered by PINQ² Associates teams.
Thanks to the triple A approach, PINQ² will offer equal support to Quebec companies, regardless of their level of digital maturity, during each phase of their projects, from ideation to market launch. Companies will be able to receive support from dedicated teams in order to, for example, seek financing for their innovations, train talent within the companies or conduct research and development programs.
Fixed fees and much more accessible quantum computing
The Quebec Quantum and Digital Innovation Platform being a non-profit organization, its funding and the support of its financial partners, such as PROMPT and PRIMA, make the objective of lowering the barrier of access to quantum computing and to the best classical technologies within a formula supported by a predictive pricing. In addition, the costs incurred by the computing platform are eligible for federal and provincial funding programs.
“As far as the use of quantum computing power is concerned, there are two major obstacles to its exploitation, namely the lack of knowledge of the remarkable potential of quantum computers and the accessibility for companies seeking to benefit from them,” noted Alexis Gouslisty, chief technology officer of PINQ2. “With the arrival of the IBM Quantum System One and PINQ2’s pricing models, we can finally address the issue of accessibility. As for the lack of awareness of the capabilities, our duty will be to promote these advantages to the various sectors in Quebec. In fact, given the proximity of the IBM Quantum System One, I believe that the benefits of quantum will spread rapidly within the different ecosystems, including those that are perhaps less familiar with this level of high technology. The development and discovery potential of quantum technology, which is already very large and attractive, will be taken to another level in Quebec. This is a source of pride for us.”
The establishment of a quantum computer in Quebec will also generate new jobs in the technological and scientific fields, which will further develop Quebec’s know-how in these sectors, in addition to making it a destination of choice for talents and luminaries from around the world. As a result, the country’s first IBM Quantum System One will be as much a force for exploration of solutions as it could be an economic engine for the province and its businesses.
“Quantum Journey” Contest
The Quebec Digital and Quantum Innovation Platform’s mission is to democratize Quebec’s classical and quantum technologies. Beyond its accessible pricing models, PINQ2 will launch a contest to give small and medium-sized Quebec companies free access to quantum computing services. Named “Quantum Journey”, this contest will allow five SMEs from different industries to develop their ideas, projects and solutions thanks to the power of computing and with the support of expert teams.
PINQ2 hopes to further contribute to the development of Quebec’s technological know-how. Details and admission requirements for this competition will follow.
The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec is a non-profit organization created by the Université de Sherbrooke and the ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie du Québec (Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec) in 2020. Its mission is to support organizations in accelerating their digital transformation, to enhance collaboration, and to simplify technology transfers between industries and research, in addition to training the talents of tomorrow. The PINQ² platform is based on conventional, hybrid and quantum digital solutions, and is accessible to all Quebec companies and to all academic networks and College Centres for the Transfer of Technology (CCTT).