Global IT giant to partner with U of C on quantum computing centre – Calgary Herald

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A global IT giant has announced plans to partner with the University of Calgary to create a centre of excellence for quantum computing in the city.

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A global IT giant has announced plans to partner with the University of Calgary to create a centre of excellence for quantum computing in the city.

Bangalore-based Mphasis Ltd., a provider of IT outsourcing services, announced Wednesday that it will set up a Canadian headquarters in Calgary. The move is expected to create 500 to 1,000 local jobs within the next two to three years, according to company CEO Nitin Rakesh.

The company 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 anchor tenant and will work to draw in other companies working in the field.

Quantum computing uses the principles of quantum physics to solve problems. It is considered to be a huge leap forward from traditional computer technology, and has futuristic applications in the fields of medicine, energy, fintech, logistics and more.

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In a virtual news conference Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney called quantum computing one of the most promising emerging high-tech sectors. He said the partnership between Mphasis and the University of Calgary will help make Alberta a destination of choice for investment capital and talent in this growing field.

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 its 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 Albertas tech sector, while at the same time helping out-of-work Albertans find a place in the new economy.

Theres 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 . . . Thats the vision we want to see.

The University of Calgary has been working for some time to help establish Alberta as a leader for 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. The U of C is also a member of Quantum Alberta, which aims to accelerate Quantum Science research, development and commercialization in the province.

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U of C president Ed McCauley said Wednesday he hopes that the partnership with Mphasis will lead to the birth of a new wave of startup companies in Calgary, ones that will use 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.

The federal government has identified quantum computing as critically important to the future economy. The most recent federal budget includes $360 million for a National Quantum Strategy encompassing funding for research, students and skills development.

Mphasis is the second major Indian IT company in recent months to announce it will set up shop in Calgary. In March, Infosys a New York Stock Exchange-listed global consulting and IT services firm with more than 249,000 employees worldwide said it will bring 500 jobs to the city over the next three years as part of the next phase of its Canadian expansion.

Like Mphasis, Infosys has formed partnerships with Calgarys post-secondary institutions to invest jointly in training programs that will help to develop a local technology talent pool.

astephenson@postmedia.com

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Global IT giant to partner with U of C on quantum computing centre - Calgary Herald

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