Ericsson struck a five-year partnership with the government of Canada to pump more than CAD470 million ($350.5 million) into two of its R&D centres in the country, stepping-up research into 5G-Advanced, 6G, cloud RAN, core networks, quantum computing and AI.

In a press release, the Swedish vendor stated Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pictured) and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne signed the agreement alongside CEO Borje Ekholm.

The scope of the programme will see Ericsson create and upskill hundreds of jobs at the centres in Ottawa and Montreal, focusing on the six areas of technology.

There will also be a special focus on quantum computing at a newly-established Ericsson hub in Montreal dedicated to research in the field.

Ericsson Canada expects to hire around 60 additional interns per year, amounting to 300 over the five year period, while boosting academic partnerships.

Its site in Ottawa is Ericsson’s “key North American R&D facility”, spanning 25,000 square metres, of which around a fifth is dedicated to laboratory operations.

Trudeau stated the announcement was further evidence of Canada’s commitment to supporting innovation, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class and ensuring it remains a leader in technology.

Also commenting, Ekholm said it was already seeing the benefits of next-generation technologies including AI and 5G, but it was still in the early days in assessing their overall potential.

Ericsson is determined “to lead our industry through continued R&D investment”, he added.