NSW unis establish Sydney Quantum Academy

Monday, 11 March, 2019

NSW unis establish Sydney Quantum Academy

A new Sydney Quantum Academy is being established as part of an initiative between four leading NSW universities.

The NSW Government has also announced support for the academy, providing $15.4 million in funding.

Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney have been working together on the initiative. It will help train the next generation of engineers and scientists in quantum computing, cementing Sydney’s place as the leading global city for quantum technology and ensuring NSW is a world centre for jobs in the emerging quantum economy.

The funding, combined with current university and future industry support, means the total investment in the Sydney Quantum Academy will be up to $35 million.

The Sydney Quantum Academy will develop the industry, attract talent and investment in Australia and internationally, and promote an understanding about quantum computing, simulation and software for local and global companies that want to use these emergent technologies.

The academy will:

  • encourage students to collaborate and train across the four universities;
  • directly link students to industry through internships and research;
  • support the development of quantum technology businesses; and
  • promote Sydney as a global leader in quantum computing.

The four universities are already deeply involved in developing quantum technology, with the ARC Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) and ARC Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology (CQC2T) harnessing academic talent from all four institutions.

In the past two years there has also been a flurry of commercial activity in quantum technology at the universities, with the establishment of Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing, based at UNSW; the Microsoft Quantum Laboratory, based at the University of Sydney; and the foundation of Australia’s first venture capital-backed quantum tech company, Q-CTRL, based at the University of Sydney.

These companies are already providing dozens of high-tech jobs in quantum technology.

“Sydney has an incredibly strong quantum computing community, with deep expertise across all areas — from the physics of qubit fabrication all the way through to software and application development. The Sydney Quantum Academy will help to cement Sydney as the world’s premier destination for quantum computing education, research and commercial development,” said Professor Michael Bremner, a Chief Investigator for CQC2T and a member of the Centre for Quantum Software and Information at UTS.

“This announcement shows that quantum technology is moving out of the laboratory and into practical application. Already at Microsoft Quantum in Sydney we have dozens of people employed in new, high-tech jobs. But we will need hundreds, if not thousands, of trained quantum engineers to make the promise of quantum technology a reality. The Sydney Quantum Academy will help us achieve this vision,” said Professor David Reilly, Chief Investigator for EQUS at the University of Sydney and Director of the Microsoft Quantum Laboratory.

“This is emerging as a hot area. It’s also a domain where the city of Sydney hosts some pretty extraordinary capability. This ramps things up a notch. Our UNSW spin-out, Silicon Quantum Computing, needs engineers and physicists with incredibly specialised skills in quantum science. We’re hoping this initiative will help us to nurture them here in Sydney,” said Laureate Fellow Professor Michelle Simmons, Director of CQC2T and a founding director of Silicon Quantum Computing from UNSW.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/agsandrew

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