|INSTITUTE FOR QUANTUM COMPUTING|
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Our mission is to aggressively explore and advance the application of quantum mechanical systems to a vast array of relevant information processing techniques. We will accomplish this by creating a truly unique environment that fosters cutting-edge research and collaboration between researchers in the areas of computer, engineering, mathematical and physical sciences.
The idea for founding a large-scale quantum information program in Waterloo was a result of discussions among founder and Co-CEO of Research in Motion Mike Lazaridis, University of Waterloo and St. Jerome's University Professor Michele Mosca, and the founding Executive Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Howard Burton.
In the fall of 1999, the University of Waterloo was exploring the possibility of expanding the quantum computing group started by Professor Mosca to include the physicist and quantum computing researcher Dr. Raymond Laflamme, potentially with the help of the newly established Canada Research Chair program. The initial concept was to also establish the theory of quantum information as an area of research at the Perimeter Institute.
While the Perimeter Institute was in the process of recruiting Dr. Laflamme, it became clear that it would be advantageous to develop a large-scale program in computer science and experimental physics to complement their research programs in theoretical physics. Discussions between Mike Lazaridis and University of Waterloo President David Johnston led to the creation of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the appointment of Raymond Laflamme as IQC's Founding Director.
IQC was established in October 2002 with the approval of the University of Waterloo Senate. IQC operations were set in motion with total funding of $7.6 million, including $5.8 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), a private gift from Mike Lazaridis and contributions from industry partners. The CFI and OIT funded infrastructure provided researchers with the tools to further theoretical and experimental investigation of a first generation of quantum information processors. The Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF) also contributed to IQC's funding with a $2.95-million grant. The ORDCF grant was matched by a $4.5-million contribution from Mike Lazaridis, directed at creating an endowment to fund IQC professorships.
In 2004, Mike Lazaridis and Ophelia Tong increased their donation to IQC to reach $45.8 million. In 2006, the Government of Ontario contributed $50 million to IQC. The same year, IQC spearheaded a CFI-ORF proposal for a fully equipped fabrication facility that was granted.
IQC was founded with a complement of five researchers from the UW Faculties of Science and Mathematics and aims to reach 30. The number of IQC postdoctoral fellows has grown from two at IQC's inception to an anticipated 18 in 2008 and with a target of 50. The number of IQC graduate students has grown from five to the current 62, with a long-term goal to reach 125.