New tech institute for Surrey, will take pressure off Vancouver: Horgan

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Surrey: The B.C. government has announced its vision to promote the City of Surrey as a second Lower Mainland downtown and to build an innovation corridor that will drive economic growth and create good jobs and opportunity for people in Surrey and the Fraser Valley.

The innovation corridor is an emerging government priority and will be developed in consultation with local government, businesses, First Nations and other partners. B.C. is taking the first step by establishing a Quantum Algorithms Institute at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus.

“Creating an innovation corridor in Surrey and up the Fraser Valley will create good jobs, attract talent, reduce commute times and raise the standard of living,” said Premier John Horgan. “Working with our partners, we will create an innovation hub where companies and talent will cluster, supporting our goal of a strong, sustainable economy that benefits the entire province.”

Affordability and access to industrial land are two of the biggest issues constraining growth in B.C.’s tech sector. Positioning Surrey as a hub of regional economic growth will help ease affordability pressures, while maximizing the potential of the whole economy.

The Quantum Algorithms Institute is a key investment to grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor. The institute will be located at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus. It will work with research universities throughout B.C. and will position the province as a world leader in this emerging field.

“Quantum computer solutions will help develop the innovations of tomorrow in sectors such as transportation and logistics, medical research, advanced design and materials testing,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Adoption across these sectors is predicted to surpass $450 billion annually. The new institute will train future data scientists who will attract companies worldwide, bringing significant benefit to B.C.’s economy.”

Andrew Weaver, BC Green Party Caucus leader, said, “Funding these kinds of innovative initiatives, especially around education, is an investment in British Columbia’s future. Quantum computing technology is one tool available to build a new, sustainable economy that is not just resilient but is nimble enough to transform British Columbia’s industrial landscape in ways that will benefit people from every area of the province for decades to come.”

The Quantum Algorithms Institute will draw on B.C.’s world-class research work and globally recognized companies and will develop a new graduate degree program in quantum computing. This program will help secure B.C.’s talent pool in quantum computing and support technological advances that will benefit every sector of the economy.

“Surrey’s City Centre has established itself as a hub for innovation and higher learning. Our location, along with our expertise and experience make Surrey the ideal place to advance technology and innovation in the province,” said Doug McCallum, mayor of Surrey. “City council and I look forward to working closely with the B.C. government to expedite this visionary project that will benefit not only the people of Surrey, but all who call B.C. home.”

To help guide future investments in tech and innovation, the B.C. government has developed a new Tech and Innovation Policy Framework that will be a roadmap to help further the innovation economy.

Andrew Petter, president and vice-chancellor, Simon Fraser University said: “Simon Fraser University is pleased to be a partner in the new Quantum Algorithms Institute. Undergraduate students in science, tech, engineering and mathematics will have a unique opportunity to continue their education in graduate studies with a focus on quantum computing.”

Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade said: “The B.C. government’s direction for the City of Surrey aligns with how we envision the future of the city – one that is focused on prosperity. Our community is well positioned to promote global business opportunities, and these new initiatives will be instrumental to the economic foundation of our city.”

Quick Facts:

  • Last year, the B.C. government invested more than $700 million to support the province’s innovation ecosystem.
  • The Province has budgeted up to $17 million for the next five years to help start and establish the Quantum Algorithms Institute.
  • The new Quantum Algorithms Institute will focus on building software and algorithms.
  • Participation of B.C.’s post-secondary system and local quantum computing companies, like D-Wave and 1Qbit, and world leaders like Microsoft and IBM, will be crucial to the success of the institute.
  • The institute was established based on the goals outlined in the Tech and Innovation Policy Framework and illustrates one of the many ways B.C. will be investing to grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor.