Becoming quantum ready for business and industry
The University of Technology Sydney is launching a series of short courses in quantum technology. The first course instructs how to assess the fast-moving quantum technology space.
Quantum computing is making headlines — and Sydney is a global research hub in the field. How much will a quantum computing world revolutionise business and industry, and what expertise do you need to establish quantum technology in the workplace for applications such as security?
The speed at which this field has moved both in terms of technology development and its movement into the private sector space has made the issues of technology assessment and adoption to be challenging.
To navigate through the hype of this emerging technology, quantum consultants from h-bar and researchers from the UTS Centre for Quantum Software and Information (QSI) will launch the first in a series of quantum technology short courses, to equip researchers, executives, students or anyone interested, with crucial skills to become quantum ready.
Dr Simon Devitt of h-bar and lecturer at QSI will present the first course on quantum due diligence, to provide insight and tools on how to prepare for the future, without being a veteran quantum researcher.
Professor Michael Bremner of QSI explains, “This course is particularly relevant for early adopters of quantum computing in industry, such as executives at the strategy or policy level in financial services, banking, consulting, pharmacology, biotech, and manufacturing.
“The vast majority of researchers and developers in quantum technology, have extensive backgrounds in physics, mathematics, computer science or engineering, so for a first-timer, if you have no training in the quantum space, there’s a very steep learning curve ahead."
The one-day quantum computing due diligence course will be held at the University of Technology’s Broadway campus on Tuesday 24th September.
The vast majority of researchers and developers in quantum technology, have extensive backgrounds in physics, mathematics, computer science or engineering, so for a first-timer, if you have no training in the quantum space, there’s a very steep learning curve ahead.
Michael Bremner, Professor of Software Engineering
UTS Centre for Quantum Software and Information
The private sector’s interest in second-generation quantum technology such as quantum computers, quantum communication systems, quantum simulators, and quantum sensors, has exploded in the past decade. There has also been a considerable increase in support from governments globally for these ‘four pillars’ of quantum technology.
Quantum technology is not at all new. Since quantum theory was developed in the early part of the 20th century, it has spawned a seemingly never-ending collection of new technologies and a deeper understanding of the universe at its most basic level.
Some of the most significant inventions of the 20th century, such as MRI medical scanners, optical lasers and transistors exploit the quantum mechanical behaviour of matter and light. These first-generation quantum technologies use what we sometimes call “bulk” quantum properties of matter and light.
An MRI machine uses an intense magnetic field and radio waves to manipulate the quantum mechanical spin of a massive number of individual atoms in your body. An optical laser works by manipulating photons to behave coherently, to share a common quantum state. Transistors use the quantum mechanical behaviour of doped semiconductors to act as electrical switches. In each of these cases, first-generation quantum technology relies on the quantum mechanical properties of trillions and trillions of particles in unison.
In contrast, the second-generation quantum technologies of the 21st century work on the principle of direct manipulation and control of the quantum mechanical wavefunction of individual atoms or photons. This precise manipulation of the electronic states of a single, electromagnetically trapped, ionised atom, could involve the electromagnetic manipulation of a single nuclear spin of a phosphorus atom embedded within a silicon crystal, or the control of the polarisation state of single particles of light (photons). Regardless of the technique, the science and engineering that goes into these technologies is daunting, and every major platform has been under active development, globally, for at least 25 years — some systems for even longer.
Some of the most recent announcements — certainly not exhaustive — from the governmental, corporate or startup spaces include:
Funding for a $1.2 Billion United States National Quantum Initiative.
The €1 Billion European Union Quantum Flagship program.
Alibaba announced a $15 Billion R&D program called Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook (DAMO), focusing on research in data intelligence, natural-language processing, quantum computing, and machine learning.
Microsoft has established Microsoft Quantum, a consolidation of six research hubs (Copenhagen, Delft, Sydney, Redmond, Santa Barbara and Perdue) and a network of 17 quantum software related startups
IBM has launched the IBMQ network, consisting of 8 hubs and 27 partner organizations and startups.
Google has two primary labs, one dedicated to superconducting hardware (Santa Barbara) and one to algorithm development (Los Angeles), and it is expected that their hardware will be the first to demonstrate quantum supremacy.
Hardware startups funded in the European Union, Australia and North America, including IQM (Finland, Superconductors), AQT (Austria, Ion Traps), Xanadu (Canada, Photonics), PsiQuantum (Palo Alto, Photonics), Rigetti (Berkeley, Superconductors), IonQ (Maryland, Ion Traps) Silicon Quantum Computing (Sydney, Silicon)
H-bar was originally founded in 2016 in response to the problem of assessing and adopting quantum technology for those without experience in the field. Since then, h-bar have advised governments and corporations on their quantum-related research and development programs and more recently, have worked as due diligence assessors for a variety of venture capital firms looking to invest in newly formed quantum hardware and software startups.
The Centre for Quantum Software and Information is the largest quantum computing and communications theory centre in Australia and one of the largest in the world, leading in algorithm and software development for quantum computing and communication systems. Since its inception in 2016, QSI has 15 full-time faculty members and has provided research and training for numerous post-doctoral fellows and PhD students.
Quantum computing due diligence will be held at the UTS City Campus in Ultimo, Sydney on 24th September, 2019, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. A further course will be held on 29th October, 2019.
University of Technology, Sydney
City Campus, Broadway, Ultimo, NSW.
Please click here to register or for further details.