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Squamish company gets $2.5-million nod from feds

Quantum Technology has been awarded the funding to scale up its hydrogen purification and liquefaction systems.

Squamish-based business Quantum Technology is getting a $2,547,500 injection of federal funds to scale up its green tech.

The funding was announced at the company's Squamish warehouse on Friday, Feb. 23, by the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and the Minister responsible for PacifiCan, Harjit Sajjan.

Sajjan, who, along with local MP Patrick Weiler and invited guests, was given a tour of Quantum Technology's facilities before the announcement. Quantum Technology specializes in hydrogen and helium applications.

"I really like to geek out on these types of conversations because the work that's being done here, we used to talk about possibilities decades ago; now it's real," said Sajjan at a press conference.

"I really am inspired by the groundbreaking work that's being done here in Squamish, and I know that it takes amazing talent as part of a team to get this done."

The funds will go towards Quantum Technology scaling up its hydrogen purification and liquefaction systems.

"Harnessing this power is key to creating a net zero future for sectors like transportation," said Sajjan, who talked about the breadth of application of the technology, citing his previous experience as the minister of international development and minister of defence as giving him exposure to industries and parts of the world where hydrogen technology was sought after.

"It's not just defence doing its part for a cleaner environment … This technology is about being more operationally effective, and many militaries around the world are focusing on this."

The investment in the Squamish-based company is expected to create 20 new jobs on top of the 53 already existing. The funds come from PacifiCan's business Scale-up and Productivity Program.

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP, Patrick Weiler also talked about the potential of the sector.

"We know this is going to be key for aviation, freight, trains, other types of energy-dense applications. Studies have shown the market for hydrogen will be up to $12 trillion by 2050, and there's such tremendous potential for Canada to be suppliers for that and developers of some of the applications."

Weiler said the $2.5 million now was for an industry with high prospects.

"When we're looking at a return on investment, it's projected to lead to economic opportunity of about $200 million by 2026, so this is really a tremendous opportunity."

Founder and president of the company, Dr. Calvin Winter, also talked about the role of Quantum Technology in shaping the future and the need to reduce carbon footprints in Canada and around the world. 

"In the hydrogen space, I can promise you that hydrogen will be a part of the energy mix of the future. I am not a crystal ball gazer, so  I do not know in which sector it's going to be the most important, but I can promise you that it's part of the big solution."

Quantum Technology is the only hydrogen and helium liquefier system manufacturer in Canada and one of two companies in North America that own and operate helium plants.

Funds from PacifiCan's business scale-up and productivity program are vended out to companies that are ready to scale up programs that are well-developed and expand local job opportunities.

PacifiCan, a federal agency, has existed since 2021 to support industries in British Columbia. It is furnished with over $500 million in funds to allocate to British Columbian companies over the five years from its inception in 2021.