Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre at University of Waterloo Official Opening Slated for September 21

Sep 12, 2012, 16:05 ET from University of Waterloo

WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - The University of Waterloo today announced that the official opening of the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC), the site of future innovation in quantum information and nanotechnology, will be held Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. in the new building at the heart of the university campus.

"It will be a momentous occasion when the curtain is lifted on this remarkable new building, unique in the world, which will add tremendous new capacity to the University of Waterloo's global impact in research and discovery," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor, University of Waterloo. "This is a state-of-the-art research facility where scientists and students from many disciplines will work together towards the next big breakthroughs in science and technology."

To be shared by the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN), the 285,000-square-foot facility will give researchers the tools and collaborative opportunities they need to perform groundbreaking experiments, investigate new processes and materials, and build innovative technologies.

"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 Mike Lazaridis, whose generous donation of more than $100 million to the project has supported the Centre's creation.

Since 1999, Mr. Lazaridis' philanthropy and fund-raising efforts have netted more than $600 million towards this vision, including funding for IQC, WIN, QNC and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

The grand opening will feature students, researchers, university leaders, community and political leaders and the building's architects to celebrate the creation of this unique, world-class facility.

"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. "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."

The $160 million building meets the most stringent standards for quantum-scale experiments — precise controls for vibration and temperature, for example — and features a large, six-storey central atrium at the heart of the building surrounded by flexible spaces to encourage interaction and collaboration.

"Quantum devices of the future will be built with nano materials, and will be enabled by nanotechnology, making nanotechnology the bridge to quantum," said Arthur Carty, Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. "Clearly this is an incredible opportunity for collaboration that has the potential to change our world."

Scientifically and aesthetically, the building promises to become a magnet that will attract many of the world's top minds to Waterloo, further enhancing the university's long-standing reputation as an international hub of research and innovation.

The University of Waterloo will be sharing the excitement with the community by hosting a Public Open House on Saturday, Sept. 29. The day will feature public lectures, special events and tours, and a quantum-themed concert by science broadcaster and writer Jay Ingram and his rock band, Jay Ingram & The Qubits. On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony will present an interactive, quantum-themed concert, Quantum: Music at the Frontier of Science.

"We hope the community will join us in celebrating the completion of this incredible facility which is an ideal site for innovation," said President Hamdullahpur.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 34,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

SOURCE University of Waterloo

Image with caption: "Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, University of Waterloo (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120912_C6071_PHOTO_EN_17776.jpg