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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U Calgary partners with IT giant on quantum computing center

By David Schwartz
Published: June 8th, 2021

An India-based global IT giant is partnering with the University of Calgary to create a center of excellence for quantum computing.

Bangalore-based Mphasis Ltd., a provider of IT outsourcing services, announced Wednesday that it will set up a Canadian headquarters in Calgary — a move is expected to create 500 to 1,000 local jobs within three years, according to company CEO Nitin Rakesh. Mphasis will also establish what it dubs the Quantum City Centre of Excellence at the University of Calgary to serve as a hub for companies focused on the commercial development of quantum technologies.

Mphasis will be the center’s anchor tenant and will work to draw in other companies working in the field.

Canada’s Premier Jason Kenney said the partnership between Mphasis and the university will help make Alberta a “destination of choice” for investment capital and talent in this growing field of quantum science.

“The goal is to make Alberta a force to be reckoned with in quantum computing, machine learning and AI — economically, but also intellectually,” Kenney said. “Post-secondary students will have incredible opportunities to master the most sought-after skills through this venture.”

Mphasis also announced plans to establish Sparkle Calgary, which will offer training in artificial intelligence and automation technology for Albertans seeking a career transition. Rakesh said through this platform, Mphasis hopes to help address the skills shortage that currently plagues Alberta’s tech sector, while at the same time helping out-of-work Albertans – particularly those displaced from the oil and gas industry — find a place in the new economy.

“There’s a ton of data expertise that sits at the heart of the oil and gas industry,” Rakesh said. “So can we take that ability to apply data knowledge, data science, and really re-skill [those workers] toward cloud computing. . . . That’s the vision we want to see.”

The University of Calgary has been cultivating a leadership position in quantum computing research through its Institute for Quantum Science and Technology — a multidisciplinary group of researchers from the areas of computer science, mathematics, chemistry and physics.

U of Calgary president Ed McCauley said he hopes that the partnership with Mphasis will lead to the birth of a new wave of start-ups in Calgary using cutting-edge technology developed on campus.

“This [quantum] technology will not only create its own industry, but it will fuel advances in others,” McCauley said. “Calgary will not only be an energy capital, it will be a quantum capital, too.”

Source: Calgary Herald

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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