The future of computing is fast approaching and Canada is leading the charge: quantum computers are widely expected to revolutionize entire categories of complex data analysis and computation. D‑Wave Systems, a Canadian firm based in Vancouver and the undisputed world leader in developing and delivering quantum annealing computer systems and software, is working with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to road‑test a cutting‑edge quantum computing system across the Government of Canada data science community.
On February 13, 2019, the NRC's Security and Disruptive Technologies and Digital Technologies research centres hosted a workshop led by D‑Wave Systems. The workshop brought together leading Canadian researchers with government problem owners and high tech industry to disseminate the latest scientific knowledge, develop solutions and new capabilities for government, and support Canadian innovative business. It provided an opportunity to educate data scientists on the state of the art in quantum computing, its strengths and limitations, and how it can help solve complex issues. Participants also learned about companies that are applying D‑Wave quantum annealing technology to solve real‑world problems, such as optimizing fuel usage for taxi fleets or speeding up research and development related to aerospace materials. A hands‑on portion of the workshop included demonstrations on how to use D‑Wave's quantum software and system, and exploration of the types of challenges facing government that might benefit from quantum computing approaches.
The NRC, Defence and Research Development Canada, and the Communications Security Establishment have formed the Quantum Security Technology Access Centre (QSTAC) to help coordinate and strengthen internal government efforts on quantum science and technology research relevant to government policy issues. One QSTAC initiative is to develop quantum technology road mapping through defence and cyber workshops, such as this one, which featured D‑Wave. By curating new capabilities for data science and next generation technologies, the NRC is facilitating a network of experts to strengthen Canada's footing in the quantum computing revolution for the benefit of all Canadians.