PASQAL and Investissement Québec Launch $90M Quantum Initiative

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Nov. 27, 2023 — French quantum computing company PASQAL announced it is part of the inauguration of Espace Quantique 1, a $90 million quantum initiative, in the center of the DistriQ Quantum Innovation Zone in Sherbrooke, Quebec, showcasing its approach to developing neutral atom quantum computers.

The project aims to conduct manufacturing and commercialization activities for quantum computers, as well as research and development in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in quantum computing within DistriQ, a quantum innovation zone. The goal of this innovation zone is to establish Sherbrooke as an internationally renowned quantum hub. The Government of Quebec is providing a $15 million loan in connection with this investment project for the establishment of PASQAL SAS’s subsidiary in the quantum innovation zone, DISTRIQ, based in Sherbrooke. Moreover, the project is expected to create 53 permanent jobs over the course of five years.

On November 24, during an official ceremony, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, officially announced the opening of Espace Quantique 1 alongside the Minister of Economy, Innovation, and Energy, and the Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and the Minister for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon. The CEO of PASQAL, Georges-Olivier Reymond, Chief Technical Officer Loïc Henriet, co-founders Christophe Jurczak and Nobel Prize laureate Alain Aspect, were also present.
PASQAL will play a key role in this initiative, not only as a major partner of DistriQ within Espace Quantique 1, but also in the production, development of technological laboratories, training, and funding for new ventures in the quantum field. The initiative stands as one of the most ambitious endeavors in North America within the field of quantum computing.

PASQAL’s presence in Sherbrooke represents a major step in the evolution of quantum computing. “Thanks to this unprecedented collaboration between the private and public sectors, we are creating an environment leading to major technological advancements, especially in terms of sustainable development,” emphasizes Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of PASQAL. “We aim to actively participate in the creation of a dynamic ecosystem that will serve as a catalyst for innovation in the quantum industry, while attracting talent and companies from all over the world.”

In 2024, PASQAL will open a facility at the heart of DistriQ, within Espace Quantique 1, aimed at manufacturing neutral atom quantum computers and the next generation of machines. Quantum Space 1 will also provide a collaborative space of nearly 5,000 square meters dedicated to quantum innovation. Equipped with advanced quantum computers, it will be utilized, among other purposes, by PASQAL as an R&D center, for prototype testing, and for business activities in Canada.

DistriQ also focuses on training talent. In this context, PASQAL announced a contribution of $500,000 to the creation of a research chair within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke, which will also benefit from federal and/or local grants.

Quantonation, and the Quebec fund Quantacet will collaborate to fund QV Studio, that will support the transition to commercial quantum applications, creating a unique ecosystem within DistriQ for sector startups. This fund aims to invest in around fifteen Quebec-based or foreign companies, especially at the pre-seed or seed stage, that are active within the DistriQ innovation zone. It will foster the development of a strong and internationally competitive Quebec ecosystem in this future-oriented sector.”
Christophe Jurczak, CEO of Quantonation and co-founder of PASQAL, states: “Espace Quantique 1 will become a leading center of innovation, facilitating the transition of quantum startups from concept to commercialization and forming a dynamic community around quantum technologies.”