Microsoft teams up with Sydney University for Quantum Computing
Australian lab part of IT giant’s ramped-up quantum computing bid Share
A multi-year partnership announced today establishes ongoing investment focused on Sydney’s Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory to scale-up devices, as Microsoft moves from research to real-world engineering of quantum machines.
The University of Sydney today announces the signing of a multi-year quantum computing partnership with Microsoft, creating an unrivalled setting and foundation for quantum research in Sydney and Australia.
The long-term Microsoft investment will bring state of the art equipment, allow the recruitment of new staff, help build the nation’s scientific and engineering talent, and focus significant research project funding into the University, assuring the nation a key role in the emerging “quantum economy.”
David Pritchard, Chief of Staff for Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research Group and Douglas Carmean, Partner Architect of Microsoft’s Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group, participated in the announcement at the University of Sydney’s Nanoscience Hub.
The official establishment of Station Q Sydney today embeds Microsoft’s commitment to kickstarting the emergence of a quantum economy by partnering with the University to develop a premier centre for quantum computing.
Directed by Professor David Reilly from the School of Physics and housed inside the $150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub, Station Q Sydney joins Microsoft’s other experimental research sites at Purdue University, Delft University of Technology, and the University of Copenhagen. There are only four labs of this kind in the world.
We’ve reached a point where we can move from theory to applied engineering for significant scale-up.
Sydney-born Professor Reilly – who completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University before returning to Australia – asserts that quantum computing is one of the most significant opportunities in the 21st century, with the potential to transform the global economy and society at large.
“The deep partnership between Microsoft and the University of Sydney will allow us to help build a rich and robust local quantum economy by attracting more skilled people, investing in new equipment and research, and accelerate progress in quantum computing – a technology that we believe will disrupt the way we live, reshaping national and global security and revolutionising medicine, communications and transport,” Professor Reilly said.
The focus of Professor Reilly and his team at Station Q Sydney is to bring quantum computing out of the laboratory and into the real world where it can have genuine impact: “We’ve reached a point where we can move from mathematical modelling and theory to applied engineering for significant scale-up,” Professor Reilly said.
Leveraging his research in quantum computing, Professor Reilly’s team has already demonstrated how spin-off quantum technologies can be used in the near-future to help detect and track early-stage cancers using the quantum properties of nanodiamonds. Watch the video animation.
Microsoft’s David Pritchard outlined the company’s redoubled quantum efforts, a key strategic pillar within Microsoft’s AI and Research Group; the quantum computing effort is being led by Todd Holmdahl, the creator of the Xbox and HoloLens.
Mr Pritchard said the partnership with the University of Sydney was important because Microsoft is looking forward to reaching the critical juncture where theory and demonstration need to segue and be complemented by systems-level abstraction and applied engineering efforts focused on scaling.
“There’s always an element of risk when you are working on projects with the potential to make momentous and unprecedented impact; we’re at the inflection point now where we have the opportunity to do that,” Mr Pritchard said.
Source : The University of Sydney