Google adds two universities to Australia’s quantum computing initiative

Google has bolstered its Australian quantum computing initiative by adding two new universities to the program while expanding its investments with two others.

The tech giant announced in November 2021 that it was deepening its investment in quantum computing as part of the Digital Future Initiative, a $1 billion investment in Australian infrastructure, research and partnerships that aims to help build the country’s digital economy for the future. With this investment, he launched Google Research Australia.

As part of this, the tech giant is expanding its investments in quantum computing research with Macquarie University (MQ) and the University of Technology (UTS), it said today. It is also launching new partnerships with the University of Sydney (USYD) and UNSW Sydney (UNSW).

“This collaborative research will help solve problems of global significance and span the full spectrum of quantum algorithms and quantum hardware research,” said Hartmut Neven, vice president of engineering for the Google AI Quantum team. . “Teams will seek ways to make quantum computing useful and usable, exploring application areas such as sensing, communications and materials science – which have the potential to change the way we interact with our world. .”

Through the Digital Future Initiative, the company seeks to boost work on quantum algorithms in several areas:

  • Dominic Berry, a professor at Macquarie University, will seek to develop algorithms that could be used to design a more efficient process for producing fertilizer – or to design faster-charging, longer-range batteries for electric cars.
  • Susan Coppersmith, a professor at UNSW, studies the properties of materials at the atomic scale
  • Associate Professor Ivan Kassal, from the University of Sydney, will aim to develop new quantum algorithms to simulate chemical reactions, in order to better understand how pollution affects our atmosphere and our ecosystems.
  • Professor Bremner from UTS will explore mathematical structures to speed up computation with quantum computers.

The tech giant also revealed that it is building its Sydney-based quantum research team, which includes its new quantum computing scientist, Marika Kieferova. Kieferova will help coordinate these projects and represent the quantum research team locally in Australia. Google hopes this investment will allow it to explore fundamental questions about the nature of quantum computing and help it move toward scalable quantum computing.

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Google isn’t the only big tech company collaborating with universities on quantum computing in Australia. In April, AWS made the ANU Quantum Numbers (AQN) generator from the Australian National University (ANU) available on its platform. It was said to be the world’s most popular and powerful online random number generator, which had been missing from the ANU campus for the past ten years.

Additionally, the Australian government invested $111m (£60m) in quantum technology last November. This was part of a national strategy to secure essential technologies for the country’s future. Quantum technologies have been identified as one of the government’s nine technologies to initially focus on as part of its Critical Technologies Master Plan and Action Plan.

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