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An international multidisciplinary consortium led by Polytechnique Montréal Professor Denis Seletskiy receives more than $1.91 million in support from NSERC for its quantum sensing project

October 5, 2022 - Source : NEWS

MIRAQLS, a multinational consortium set up to develop quantum sensing research in the mid-infrared field, is receiving more than $1.91 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) as part of a joint Canada–European Union call for projects on quantum technology. The project is led by Professor Denis Seletskiy and includes seven professors from the Department of Engineering Physics at Polytechnique Montréal.

MIRAQLS Polytechnique
Photo (from left to right and from top to bottom): Professors Caroline Boudoux, Sébastien Francoeur, Stéphane Kena-Cohen, Nicolas Quesada, Sean Molesky, Oussama Moutanabbir and Denis Seletskiy.

Today the European Union (EU) and Canada are announcing three jointly supported research and innovation projects that will support fundamental research in quantum technology. These quantum research projects will facilitate new collaboration between researchers in Canada and the EU and will strengthen the impact of research and innovation. Collectively, these projects gather world-class research teams whose aims are to put quantum technology to work, addressing many technological and societal challenges for the benefit of both EU and Canada, in a way that we could not otherwise achieve separately.

The selected EU-Canada projects (MIRAQLS – quantum sensing, FoQaCiA – quantum computing, and HyperSpace – quantum communications) are co-funded by the EU Quantum Flagship under Horizon Europe, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The three winning projects will share grants of approximately €4 million from the EU and close to C$5 million in total investments from NSERC over three years.

Among the three EU-Canada projects selected, the MIRAQLS quantum sensing project, led by Polytechnique Montréal on the Canadian side, is receiving $1,916,265 in support from NSERC, with the European Commission matching this amount for European universities.

Roberto Viola, European Commission Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, said: “I warmly welcome this co-operation with our Canadian partners in quantum research and innovation. These projects are the latest iteration in our long-standing, strong and successful history of science, research and innovation collaboration. I very much look forward to the fruits of this joint endeavour and to more and closer co-operation with Canada.”

Professor Alejandro Adem, NSERC President, added: “Canada is home to world-class quantum researchers, and connecting them with peers in Europe builds on years of collaboration and innovation. These new projects in the areas of quantum sensing, communication and computing will push the boundaries of quantum technologies to new frontiers and lead the way to new discoveries and breakthroughs. I’m very pleased to help launch these research ventures and look forward to the prospect of more collaborations with our European partners in the future.”

Here is a description of the MIRAQLS project:

Optical sensors operating at mid-infrared (MIR) wavelengths are essential for a wide range of applications due to the unique molecular signatures at these wavelengths. This project will advance MIR quantum sensing technology, which is poised to transform the way precision measurements are performed, enabling applications ranging from greenhouse gas monitoring to help achieve zero-emission targets, advanced drug discovery, and imaging through fog.

The project brings together an interdisciplinary team of Canadian and European researchers as well as industry partners who aim to achieve improvements in MIR sensing that will directly result in increased societal well-being and contribute to addressing current global climate challenges.

The project will train more than 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and equip them with an exceptional skill set for their future careers in academia, industry or entrepreneurship.

On the Canadian side, the project will draw on the expertise of seven professors in the Department of Engineering Physics at Polytechnique Montréal, namely Caroline Boudoux, Sébastien Francoeur, Stéphane Kena-Cohen, Sean Molesky, Oussama Moutanabbir, Nicolas Quesada and Denis Seletskiy, as well as John Sipe, professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto.

On the European side, researchers from seven universities in Germany (Universität Paderborn), Spain (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Italy (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Switzerland (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) and the United Kingdom (University of Glasgow and University of Warwick), as well as industrial players, will take part in the project

“I would like to thank NSERC and the European Commission for their valuable support,” Professor Seletskiy said. “Thanks to the world-class experts on both sides of the Atlantic, I am confident that our research will enable the development of fundamental knowledge and quantum technology that will benefit both the general public and the international scientific community.”

Notably, the MIRAQLS project began one day before the announcement of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to Professors Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for “their experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell’s inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.”

“Now is the time to develop these fundamental ideas into next-generation quantum technology. Our entire team is very excited to launch this research,” Professor Seletskiy concluded.

Congratulations to our faculty members!

Learn more

Department of Engineering Physics website
Professor Caroline Boudoux’s expertise
Professor Sébastien Francoeur’s expertise
Professor Stéphane Kena-Cohen’s expertise
Professor Sean Molesky’s expertise
Professor Oussama Moutanabbir’s expertise
Professor Nicolas Quesada’s expertise
Professor Denis Seletskiy’s expertise

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