Government of NSW collects AU $ 15 million for Sydney Quantum Academy


The government of New South Wales has announced the funding of a new initiative to engage university students in quantum computing.

The AU $ 15.4 million Quantum Academy (SQA) Initiative from the University of Sydney (USyd), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Macquarie University and Sydney University of Technology (UTS) will encourage students to work with and train at the four universities.

It is hoped that funding will also be used to link students to industry through internships and research; support the development of quantum technology startup business; and promote Sydney as a quantum computing hub.

NSW government funding, combined with the current university and future industry support, shows the total investment in the SQA set at about AU $ 35 million.

"Our new investment will ensure a line of highly qualified quantum engineers, software experts and technicians to build and program these incredible machines as technology becomes a reality," said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

"We want the SQA to secure the investments of key players in the global technology industry and bring the best scientists from around the world to NSW."


Barilaro believes that for every quantum computing function created, about five indirect jobs will be generated.

"This is an exciting collaboration between some of our best universities in NSW, which already have unique strengths when it comes to quantum science and engineering," added NSW Innovation Minister Matt Kean.

"Most of our international competitors stand out in just one form of quantum science, but here in Sydney, our universities have strengths in a variety of fields, such as silicon quantum computing, topological quantum computing, entrapped ions, quantum software and nanodiamonds."

Physicists use code to reduce quantum error on logic gates

Also this week, USyd scientists announced the use of code specially designed to detect and rule out errors in the quantum computer logic gates.

Quantum logic gates are made up of interwoven networks of a small number of quantum bits (qubits). They are the switches that allow quantum computers to execute algorithms that process information and perform calculations.

"This is really the first time the promised benefit to the quantum logic doors of theory has been realized in a real quantum machine," said Robin Harper of the ARC Center of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Harper, along with Professor Steven Flammia of the School of Physics and the University of Sydney's Nano Institute, used IBM's quantum computer to test error-detection codes.

The university said they demonstrated an improvement in the order of magnitude in reducing infidelity – error rates – in quantum logic gates.

Using code to detect and rule out errors in IBM's quantum device, Harper and Flammia showed error rates dropping from 5.8% to 0.60%. So instead of one in 20 quantum fail, only one in 200 would fail.

"This is an important step in developing fault tolerance in quantum systems to allow them to scale to meaningful devices," added Harper.

"These experiments are the first confirmation that the theoretical ability to detect errors in the operation of logic gates using quantum codes is advantageous in current devices, a significant step toward the goal of building large-scale quantum computers."


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Professor Michelle Simmons thinks that Australia has what it takes to be the first to reach the finish line in the international race for quantum computing.

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