Ontario breaks ground on $160 million nanotech research center

June 16, 2008 — The University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada, has broken ground on the $160-million Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre designed to propel the university and the country to the forefront of the nanotechnology research. The Government of Ontario is providing $50 million for construction of QNC, with another $22 million coming from a $50 million donation from the Lazaridis family. The remaining funding involves federal funding, private donations and university funds.

The Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre is scheduled to open late in 2010 or early 2011.

“This is an exciting time for science and the University of Waterloo,” says UW chancellor Mike Lazaridis. “In addition to housing state-of-the-art research labs, this new building will provide a unique and cutting-edge environment that will bring together the brightest minds in basic and applied research to explore and advance quantum computing and nanotechnology.”

The new centre will be home to two forefront areas of science and engineering — quantum information technology and nanotechnology. It will house the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and UW’s undergraduate program in nanotechnology engineering.

The facility will include a 10,000-square-foot class 100 and 1000 clean room with state-of-the-art fabrication facilities for quantum and nano devices, an advanced metrology suite, extensive teaching and research laboratories, seminar rooms and offices. It will also feature low vibration, low electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference environments employing advanced structural, mechanical and electrical designs.

It will be able to accommodate the needs of up to 400 academics, equally split between the quantum and nano sides, with most coming from the faculties of engineering, mathematics and science. Mechanical and electrical systems account for close to 50 per cent of the construction costs.

“This is a significant investment, not just in the University of Waterloo, but in Ontario and Canada,” says David Johnston, president and vice-chancellor of the university. “The provincial government, Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis, and all other supporters of this project should be commended for helping UW researchers excel at the forefront of quantum information and nanotechnology.”

“This kind of innovation is the cornerstone of the economy we are building in Ontario in the 21st century,” adds Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.


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