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Ideas Lab is an independent research laboratory in Waterloo, Ontario. We pursue applied research projects and take innovative ideas to commercial ready prototypes, creating the foundation for commercialization via new startup companies.


By leveraging breakthroughs in quantum science, we endeavour to create transformative technologies that enable meaningful societal benefits and compelling economic value.


We bridge the gap between academic labs and industry to accelerate the research and development of the most promising quantum technologies as the basis for exciting new products and businesses in Canada.


Quantum Valley is an extensive scientific and technology ecosystem in Waterloo, Ontario built around one of the world’s most innovative research universities – the University of Waterloo. This thriving environment brings together world-class researchers, state-of-the-art facilities, and deep industry experience, all initiated by BlackBerry visionaries Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin.

The expertise and resources of Quantum Valley range from foundational quantum investigations at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics to the fundamental and applied research at the Institute for Quantum Computing.

The innovative products and businesses emerging from the Quantum Valley require the leadership of business professionals skilled in technology management, such as those graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute for Management. They also require the financial support of forward-looking venture capital funds such as Quantum Valley Investments, which was founded in 2013 with $100 million of investment capital to commercialize technologies emerging from the Quantum Valley ecosystem.

Ideas Lab was founded in 2016 with a $20 million commitment from Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin that was matched by the Canadian federal government. In 2017, the founding management team began assembling world-leading researchers and established purpose-built facilities to undertake its inaugural project. Ideas Lab has gone on to undertake additional internal research programs and has built external collaborations with leading defence sector, private industry, and academic associates across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

We are a world-leading research institution in quantum sensing. Since its founding, Ideas Lab has grown to more than 30 research and management professionals. Our researchers are leaders in the international quantum technology community who publish in the highest-impact academic journals and present their findings at conferences. We regularly host Canadian and international research students and visiting scholars, and we participate in short course teaching opportunities where our staff have been called on to share their advanced subject matter knowledge with other quantum technology thought leaders from around the globe. Ideas Lab also actively patents its discoveries to ensure that intellectual property developed in Ontario can be successfully commercialized so as to unlock the full potential of these transformative technologies.

Ideas Lab Facilities and Shared Resources

Ideas Lab benefits from access to the Quantum NanoFab facilities situated within the Research Advancement Centre and the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre whose ultrasterile and stable cleanroom facilities are among the most advanced of their kind in the world.

Ideas Lab is based in the Research Advancement Centre 2 (RAC2) in Waterloo’s David Johnston Research + Technology Park. Our purpose-built Quantum Technology Lab provides strict environmentally controlled conditions with respect to temperature and humidity necessary to expedite laser-based quantum technology prototyping. The lab boasts an array of infrastructure required for free-space optical experiments and adjacent in-house fabrication and electronics facilities.

Ideas Lab emphasizes developing prototyping capabilities specific to targeted project development, rather than duplicating resources. These facilities are complemented by the broader Quantum Valley’s state-of-the-art labs, fabrication, and metrology facilities, enabling the production and characterization of quantum materials as the basis for new quantum technologies.