June 2, 2021

UCalgary and Quantum City

Growing Calgary’s high-tech economy through quantum science

From nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to quantum internet and biomedical engineering, Calgary is becoming a true “quantum capital city.”   

Quantum City, announced by the University of Calgary, the Government of Alberta and leading technology company Mphasis, will create up to 1,000 jobs and help diversify our economy.

This is the start of something big,” says UCalgary President Ed McCauley.

“Thanks to the people and technology cultivated at Quantum City, Calgary’s economy will grow and diversify. Quantum technologies often sound like science fiction today, but they will sound like paycheques tomorrow. This is how great research universities improve their community and it’s a great day for UCalgary.”

Global quantum leadership

Through the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and our partnership with Quantum Alberta, UCalgary researchers are already helping drive Canada’s global quantum leadership.

UCalgary has 130 academics across several fields working in a transdisciplinary fashion to help make Calgary a quantum leader. These quantum scientists are using nanotechnology, theoretical research, and other areas of quantum research to work at the outer limits of what can be seen to gain a greater understanding of the world around us.   

They’re designing quantum computers to tackle the toughest problems and strengthen cyber security. 

And they’re taking advantage of this ever-increasing computing power to develop methods to calculate the properties of complex molecules, from water to proteins.

Quantum innovation accelerator

Canada already has the world’s largest investments in quantum companies, and Canadian firms and institutions hold the second-highest number of patents. This pace of discovery is increasing.  

“UCalgary’s entrepreneurial approach makes us uniquely positioned to create and commercialize new quantum technologies,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research).

“Our scientists are partnering with the growing number of quantum-based companies. Our innovation ecosystem, including Innovate Calgary and the Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies, has created a powerful pathway for new discoveries to travel from labs through startups to the world.”

Training tomorrow’s tech talent

Calgary’s high-tech economy depends on access to highly skilled workers, and UCalgary is here to make economic diversification possible. Two- thirds of all UCalgary alumni remain in Calgary to live and work.

From four-year undergraduate programs to graduate-level stackable certificates and one-year master’s degrees, UCalgary is helping the local labour force transition to tech-based industries. 

“UCalgary education programs are focused on providing graduates with the skills, talents and work experience employers desperately need,” says McCauley.

A leader in innovation

Quantum City is something completely new, but the UCalgary is already known for thinking outside the box.

Our veterinary medicine students are working on a 19,000-acre cattle ranch at W.A. Ranches.

Our arts students are combining the physical and artistic in Canada’s first combined dance and kinesiology degree.

Our nursing students are connecting and collaborating online with working health-care professionals through the NurseNetwork.   

“With an annual economic impact of $16.5 billion and growing, we know the future of Calgary’s economy begins on our campus,” says McCauley. 


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