The first generation of quantum devices, which included lasers and semiconductor-based transistors, brought a 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.
Quantum sensors have the potential to make improvements in navigation, medical imaging, geological surveying, defence, safety, security and beyond. Quantum sensors are expected to be one of the first types of quantum technologies to be commercialized and adopted.
About the program
Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre (SDT), the goal of the Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program (QSP) is to enable the development of revolutionary sensors that harness the extreme sensitivity of quantum through collaborative research and development with quantum and domain experts. 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.
To develop a disruptive generation of quantum sensors that are orders of magnitude better than sensors that exist today.
- Strengthening of the Canadian quantum technology innovation ecosystem, including increased IP portfolio.
- Advancement of quantum sensing technologies towards adoption and commercialization.
Current areas of focus
Developing new or more compatible quantum light sources, detectors and other enabling components in order to advance fundamental science and the commercialization of optics-based quantum sensing technologies.
Chip-based quantum systems
Transitioning quantum systems onto chips in order to create a path towards commercialization and integration into priority application spaces such as defence, environment and health.
Developing new, highly precise sensing devices, based on quantum effects, which will improve upon state-of-the-art measurement and calibration technologies. Metrology and standardization will enable technologies to advance towards commercialization.
For a list of collaborative QSP research and development projects, please visit Funded collaborative R&D programs and initiatives.
The NRC's Internet of Things: Quantum Sensors Challenge program is made up of a highly-skilled and multi-disciplinary team possessing a broad range of expertise in business and advisory services, and program management.
Peter C. Mason, Program Director
Aimee K. Gunther, Deputy Director and Quantum Photonics Theme Lead
Alicia Kam, Chip-Based Quantum Systems Theme Lead
Andrew Todd, Quantum Metrology Theme Lead
Laura Godfrey, Data Coordinator and Administrative Support
Rebecca Trueman, Innovation Investment Advisor
Grants and contributions funding is available to help defray the costs of research for academic institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, and other eligible recipients collaborating with NRC researchers.
Find out more about collaborating with us, and how to apply.
- Canada–UK launch call for proposals on quantum technologies
- The Quantum Sensors Challenge program received funding through the National Quantum Strategy and will contribute to its commercialization pillar, accelerating the translation research into scalable commercial products and services that will benefit Canadians, our industries and the world.
- The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are looking to develop several research collaborations focusing on defence and security applications, specifically: quantum sensing and sensors, quantum communications, and quantum computing, simulations and algorithms through their IDEaS program.
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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