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The quantum revolution Mike Lazaridis expects is grand enough. Inventing the mythical quantum computer, which the BlackBerry billionaire has set as the primary goal of his massive investment in the southern Ontario technology hub known as Quantum Valley, could create a trillion-dollar market that Canada stands to dominate. He says the question is when, not if. The scientists say years, not decades.

But this is just the part he thinks he can predict.

“There is a quantum revolution coming, an industrial revolution,” he said. “It’s audacious.”

Just as the challenge of a transatlantic phone call led to the invention of the transistor, and thus electronics and computing, he thinks quantum can do for Canada what silicon did for America.

Mr. Lazaridis founded the Perimeter Institute here in 1999 to develop theory, then the Institute for Quantum Computing in 2002 to do experiments, and now Quantum Valley Investments in 2013 to bring the science to market, now a decade ahead of schedule.

“Maybe we’ll find the quantum equivalent of a catalyst [a chemical agent that speeds reactions, useful in industry], that allows us to grow material,” he said. “What if you could make metals transparent?” Or suppose you could grow diamond, among the hardest materials known, as indeed researchers are doing — slowly, atom by atom — in a lab near his office on the northern campus of the University of Waterloo.

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