Sydney welcomes NSW Government support for Quantum Academy

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Investment needed to engage with emerging quantum economy

University is taking the lead to cement the Sydney basin as a global centre of excellence in quantum training, technology and investment.

Quantum physicist Professor Stephen Bartlett with students. 

The University of Sydney today welcomed support from the NSW Government for its proposal to establish a Sydney Quantum Academy.

The city-wide initiative led by the University of Sydney is in partnership with Macquarie University, the University of NSW and University of Technology, Sydney.

Investment in education, infrastructure and a supportive ecosystem is vital for the city to take advantage of its unique place within the emerging global quantum economy,” the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, said.

A Sydney Quantum Academy dedicated to postgraduate training and research will help Sydney cement its place as a global centre of excellence for quantum technology, said Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

He said it will assist the translation of fundamental research into high-tech, value-added jobs in the Sydney basin.

“A Quantum Academy will also act as a magnet for outstanding global talent and help develop the next generation of quantum engineers,” Professor Ivison said.

Professor Stephen Bartlett from the University of Sydney Quantum Science Research Group said: “Sydney has one of the most impressive concentrations of quantum researchers in the world. Bringing that expertise together to train people from Australia and internationally will be a fantastic complement to the great work we are already doing.”

He said the Quantum Nanoscience course currently offered at the University was developed to match the capabilities of the new Sydney Nanoscience Hub, the $150 million flagship building of the University of Sydney Nano Institute.

The University has produced many outstanding PhD graduates focused on developing practical quantum technologies.

The success of this work has led to a multiyear partnership with Microsoft, which aims to build the world’s first practical, large-scale quantum computers.

The partnership, led by Professor David Reilly, represents the largest investment in quantum computing in Australia.

The many years of work at Sydney is also leading to successful commercialisation.

Professor Michael Biercuk has launched a venture-capital-backed quantum tech company,
Q-Ctrl,
which is building firmware to deal with errors in emerging quantum technology.

Global technology companies, such as Microsoft, Google and IBM, are investing billions of dollars in quantum computing, which has the potential to revolutionise the world economy.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs in February said that by 2021, quantum computing could be a $US29 billion industry. Through its research, training and commercial partnerships, the University of Sydney is in at the ground floor of this burgeoning economic sector.

Backed by $500,000 from the NSW Government, deputy vice-chancellors from the four universities will develop a detailed proposal for the Sydney Quantum Academy.

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