Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program


The first generation of quantum devices, which included lasers and semiconductor-based transistors, brought technological revolution and transformed society. A new generation of quantum technologies is emerging, unique in their abilities to leverage and control previously inaccessible properties of nature, allowing for stunning new capabilities, such as sensors with precision and sensitivity well beyond the known limits of those in use today.

This new generation of quantum sensors will have applications across a broad range of areas of concern to Canadians—from the environment, to natural resources, health care, and defence. Investing in the development of quantum sensing will allow Canada to build upon its global leadership position in quantum sciences and help lay the groundwork for a future high-tech industry centred around quantum technologies.

About the program

Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre, the goal of the Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program is to enable the development of revolutionary sensors that harness the extreme sensitivity of quantum systems to provide enhanced precision, sensitivity, rates, and range of measurable phenomena. The ambition is that this new generation of sensor systems performing beyond the limits of classical physics may be engineered and commercialized for applications that benefit Canadians.


To support Canada’s ambition to be a global leader in quantum technologies.

Challenge Statement

To develop a disruptive generation of quantum sensors that are orders of magnitude better than sensors that exist today.

Areas of focus

Quantum photonics

  • Creating, transporting, and detecting quantum information in photonic systems.

Chip-based quantum systems

  • Transitioning quantum systems onto chips in order to create a path towards commercialization.

Quantum metrology

  • The development of intrinsic, primary measurement standards as well as standards and certifications for commercial quantum systems.

A balance of collaborative projects will be defined under each focus area in order to help create the conditions required for quantum sensor systems to move closer to commercialization.

Getting involved

We invite researchers from the academic, public, not-for-profit, and private sectors as well as from Indigenous communities and organizations to express their interest in collaborating with the Program. We are currently seeking collaborators with research expertise in quantum sensing for environmental, health care, and defence and security applications and project ideas contributing to one of the focus areas listed above.

Grant and contribution funding will be available through the NRC's National Program Office for eligible collaborators who offer complementary expertise. This may include support for collaborative R&D as well as equipment needed for research in fundamental areas.

Contact our team

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Contact us

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

Peter C. Mason, PhD
Director, Quantum Sensors Challenge Program

Aimee K. Gunther, PhD
Deputy Director, Quantum Sensors Challenge Program


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