Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston, the minister of trades and technology, announces government’s plan to create B.C.’s first quantum computing institute to help position Surrey’s City Centre area as the region’s second downtown core. The announcement was at SFU Surrey’s new engineering building on Wednesday (Oct. 2). (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston, the minister of trades and technology, announces government’s plan to create B.C.’s first quantum computing institute to help position Surrey’s City Centre area as the region’s second downtown core. The announcement was at SFU Surrey’s new engineering building on Wednesday (Oct. 2). (Photo: Lauren Collins)

SFU Surrey to be home to B.C.’s first quantum computing institute

‘Visionary’ institute to receive $17M over five years from provincial government

A plan to create B.C.’s first quantum computing institute is being touted as a “visionary” project that will help position Surrey’s City Centre area as the region’s second downtown core.

The Quantum Algorithms Institute is being established at SFU’s Surrey campus, with the provincial government providing $17 million over five years to get the project up and running.

The new institute will work with universities throughout B.C. to “position the province as a world leader in this emerging field” and is a “key investment to grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor,” according to a government release.

READ ALSO: SFU Surrey programs receive nearly $3M in federal funding, Aug. 7, 2019

READ ALSO: SFU unveils campus expansion in Surrey for clean tech studies, April 25, 2019

“Quantum computer solutions will help develop the innovations of tomorrow in sectors such as transportation and logistics, medical research, advanced design and materials testing,” said Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Adoption across these sectors is predicted to surpass $450 billion annually. The new institute will train future data scientists who will attract companies worldwide, bringing significant benefit to B.C.’s economy.”

Ralston said quantum computing helps to solve problems that conventional computers “just can’t do.”

“If conventional computing is flipping a coin one side or the other, quantum computing is like spinning a coin where you are doing all of those calculations simultaneously. The result is the computing power that you have is dramatically increased millions of times.”

As for aiming to make City Centre the Lower Mainland’s second downtown core, Ralston said it’s “a long time coming.”

“It’s great to be able to… bring some reality and bring some further investment and raising of the profile of the opportunities in Surrey because they really are incredible and I’ve always thought that. I think I’ve managed to gather a little bit more momentum for the role of Surrey City Centre, both in the region and in the province.”

homelessphoto

Premier John Horgan said that since Silicon Valley developed around San Francisco, an innovation sector can also develop around Vancouver in Surrey and the Fraser Valley.

“Creating an innovation corridor in Surrey and up the Fraser Valley will create good jobs, attract talent, reduce commute times and raise the standard of living,” said Premier John Horgan, who was at SFU Surrey Wednesday to make the funding announcement. “Working with our partners, we will create an innovation hub where companies and talent will cluster, supporting our goal of a strong, sustainable economy that benefits the entire province.”

twitter.com

The provincial government says the Quantum Algorithms Institute will “will draw on B.C.’s world-class research work and globally recognized companies and will develop a new graduate degree program in quantum computing.” It will also “help secure B.C.’s talent pool in quantum computing and support technological advances that will benefit every sector of the economy.”

A government release describes quantum computing as “an emerging technology that uses quantum mechanics to improve the ability to solve problems at a much faster rate than conventional computers and does so using far less energy.”

While conventional computers store information using bits represented by zeroes or ones, quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits,” to encode information as zeroes, ones or both at the same time, allowing for much faster computational time.

There is already work being done in the field at SFU, UBC and UVIC, and several B.C. companies are commercially active in quantum computing, such as D-Wave, 1Qbit, Fujitsu, IBM and Microsoft. Although, the technology is largely still pre-commercial.

The provincial government says B.C. is “working to be the jurisdiction that helps advance quantum computing from research through to transformative technology.”

homelessphoto

Andrew Petter, SFU’s president and vice-chancellor, said the announcement makes “Bing Thom’s dream, tomorrow’s reality.” Thom was the man behind Surrey’s City Centre transformation.

“He believed that combining a research university with an office tower and a shopping mall would start the process of transforming this area from a struggling suburb as it then was, to a dynamic city centre as it is now on its way to becoming,” Petter said.

The Quantum Algorithm Institute being established at SFU Surrey will draw on the talents and capacities of B.C.’s universities… because we will be working as universities in partnership with government and industry to help establish this province as a leader in quantum computing technologies.”

Mayor Doug McCallum said Surrey’s City Centre area has established itself as a “hub for innovation and higher learning.”

“Our location, along with our expertise and experience make Surrey the ideal place to advance technology and innovation in the province,” McCallum added. “City council and I look forward to working closely with the B.C. government to expedite this visionary project that will benefit not only the people of Surrey, but all who call B.C. home.”

The creation of the institute was based on goals outlined in the Tech and Innovation Policy Framework and the provincial government says it’s “one of the many ways B.C. will be investing to grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor.”

Meantime, the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association has released a vision project and survey asking residents to help shape City Centre’s future.

READ ALSO: New survey aims to create a ‘vibrant downtown that all of Surrey can be proud of’, Sept. 14, 2019

Through the survey, the BIA will use the information to “help vision the future of downtown Surrey,” and to “highlight ideas that can be implemented” by the City of Surrey, the BIA, other stakeholders and community members.

DSBIA Chair Bill Cunningham previously told the Now-Leader that Surrey has the opportunity to build out its downtown core, “something that as far as downtowns go, is relatively young.”

“We want it to be a place that people across Surrey in particular, but really the Fraser Valley in general, that when you say, ‘I’m going downtown,’ you’re not just automatically assuming that means downtown Vancouver to see a show. We are building our own downtown here,” he said.

With the survey and vision project, Cunningham said it’s not meant to “duplicate or replace” downtown Vancouver, but it presents an opportunity to have a “little bit of that fresh palette.”



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

“Flower” was installed outside Interior Health’s downtown Kelowna Community Health & Services Centre on Wednesday, Nov. 25.(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New public art installation unveiled in downtown Kelowna

The piece, called Flower, sits in front of Interior Health’s Community Health & Services Centre on Doyle Avenue

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Cranbrook business and property owners are encouraged to flush their water lines ahead of reopening. All it takes is running the cold water tap for several minutes. (Cranbrook Townsman file)
UPDATE: Water advisory issued on Westside

Westshore Estates leak repair causes need to flush system

KLO Middle School. (Google Maps)
KLO Middle School community member tests positive for COVID-19

According to SD23, the individual is self-isolating at home

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at North Okanagan council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An assault charge has been filed after a 10-year-old boy was allegedly struck with a watermelon at a Shuswap campsite in August . (File photo)
Alberta woman facing assault charge after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Shuswap campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read