The University of Waterloo has created its own ‘field of
dreams’ with a new building located at the heart of the university campus: if
you build a $160 million hub for research and innovation, the world’s top minds
will come. At least that is Waterloo’s vision for the new site, which will host
future innovation in quantum information and nanotechnology. The official
opening of the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC) will take
place on site next Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.
"Just as the discoveries and innovations at The Bell
Labs led to the companies that created Silicon Valley, so will, I predict, the
discoveries and innovations of the Quantum-Nano Centre lead to the creation of
companies that will lead to Waterloo Region becoming known as The Quantum
Valley," said RIM co-founder, Mike Lazaridis, who donated more than $100
million to the project.
Thanks to Mr. Lazaridis’ philanthropy and fundraising
efforts over the last 13 years, a total of over $600 million has been raised
towards realization of this vision. The 285,000-square-foot facility will be
shared by the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Waterloo Institute
for Nanotechnology (WIN). The building was designed to offer researchers the
tools and collaborative opportunities needed to perform experiments,
investigate new processes and materials, and build innovative technologies.
"This remarkable facility will give Waterloo scientists
the cutting-edge tools and collaborative environment needed to make
revolutionary breakthroughs in quantum information and nanotechnology,"
said Raymond Laflamme, executive director of the Institute for Quantum
Computing, in a recent news release. "By harnessing the quantum properties
of the nano-scale world, researchers will pioneer new technologies that will
change the ways we work, communicate, play and live."