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'Star Trek' inspires BlackBerry founder to launch quantum fund

Known for his long-standing interest in quantum technology, Mike Lazaridis creates a $100 million investment fund aimed at bringing science breakthroughs to the commercial world.

Mike Laziridis addresses the crowd at BlackBerry DevCon 2011.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

BlackBerry co-founder and former CEO Mike Lazaridis has veered from mobile devices and set his sights on quantum technology.

This technology is so fascinating to him that he and fellow BlackBerry co-founder Doug Fregin have launched a $100 million investment fund, called Quantum Valley Investments, to work on commercial applications for breakthroughs in quantum science, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But, what exactly are breakthroughs in quantum science?

According to Lazaridis, one need look no further than Star Trek.

"There's this buzz around the world that this quantum information science is starting to bear fruit," Lazaridis told Bloomberg in a video interview. "There's even an X Prize for a medical tricorder like we saw in Star Trek. We've seen many of the devices and predictions of Star Trek come true, from the computer, voice activation, voice recognition, to the communicator in today's smartphones and computers."

Lazaridis resigned as BlackBerry co-CEO in January 2012 as the company faced a loss of investor confidence and declining profits and revenue. He has since pursued his long-standing interest in quantum technology. Besides Quantum Valley Investments, Lazaridis also launched a Quantum-Nano Centre in Ontario, Canada in September.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Lazaridis and Fregin have already made their first deal with Quantum Valley Investments. However, Lazaridis declined to divulge the details.

"We've had researchers coming up to us with some really ground-breaking discoveries, and we could see the potential of those things," Lazaridis told the Wall Street Journal. "This isn't like venture capital. This isn't everybody in their garage or dorm room coming up with an idea and getting funded."