Applied Quantum Computing Challenge program


Quantum computing represents a paradigm shift with the potential to bring transformative capabilities across a wide range of sectors and applications.  Intermediate‑scale quantum computers available through cloud platforms have made great progress in recent years. This advance is accompanied by a surge in research and development towards the discovery of new algorithms and applications that harness the power of these new computing capabilities. Canada leads the world in the commercialization of quantum applications with a robust and growing community of quantum software start‑ups.

The National Research Council of Canada is developing a new Challenge program for Applied Quantum Computing. The program will collaborate with industry and academia to support commercial innovation to build on Canada's position as a global leader in applied quantum computing. The program will also support quantum initiatives across the Government of Canada, working with federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations to explore applications of quantum computing for public service operations and program delivery.

The program is being developed in alignment with the development of the Government of Canada's National Quantum Strategy. The strategy will amplify Canada's significant strength in quantum research; grow our quantum‑ready technologies, companies and talent; and solidify Canada's global leadership in this area.

News and events


  • 2021: Initial program development discussions with potential collaborators

Getting involved

At this early stage in the development of the Challenge program, the NRC is exploring project ideas. We invite researchers from the academic, public, not‑for‑profit and private sectors to express their interest in collaborating with the program. Potential collaborators are urged to contact the project team to complete research in the areas of focus below. The project team is also interested in hearing from problem owners and technology developers.

Funding for approved NRC Challenge programs is available under the NRC's Collaborative Science, Technology and Innovation Program (CSTIP) and administered by the NRC's National Program Office. A full call for proposals in support of this Challenge program is anticipated in spring/summer 2022, pending program approval.

CSTIP is intended to position the NRC as a collaborative platform that uses science excellence to tackle Canada's most pressing challenges. As such, projects supported under this initiative will benefit from NRC assets already in place (such as special-purpose research facilities, scientific expertise and networks) and financial assistance in the form of non-repayable grants or contributions.

Express your interest

Potential areas of focus

  • Quantum algorithms with applications in an area of commercial impact (e.g., finance, health, logistics, optimization, machine learning, materials design, clean technologies, defence, safety and security)
  • Quantum simulations of physical systems, processes and materials
  • Models and architecture of quantum computers, including theory and techniques for quantum error correction, quantum compiling, problem formulation, quantum complexity, and alternative or restricted models of quantum computing

Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating with us, making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Phil Kaye, PhD
Program Director, Applied Quantum Computing


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