The University of Waterloo has announced an $8 million research chair dedicated to quantum error correction.

The University of Waterloo and Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis co-invested the money to establish the position. Raymond Laflamme, former director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, was named as chair.

The investment will support Laflamme’s research on error correction in quantum systems, which is considered critical to the development of the quantum computer.

Mike Lazaridis said Laflamme has been key to establishing Waterloo as a hub of quantum information science through his work at the Institute for Quantum Computing. “Raymond Laflamme is broadly recognized as a globally-leading researcher in quantum error correction,” Mike Lazaridis said. “His research contributions have led the development of quantum control, which is a building block to realizing quantum computing. Over the past 15 years, he and his colleagues at IQC have established Waterloo—and Canada—as a global leader in the second quantum revolution.”

Under Laflamme’s leadership, IQC grew to more than 200 researchers, and is recognized as one of the world’s largest centres for quantum information research. Laflamme holds a Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information, and was awarded the CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics earlier this year.

“This pioneering research in quantum technologies at Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) will help further establish our impact as a global leader in quantum research,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “The combination of Raymond Laflamme’s expertise and the Lazaridis family’s generosity ensures that the world can continue to look to Waterloo for the latest advancements in quantum knowledge and technology.”

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