Australia gets a quantum computing company

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 24, 2017

"This is one of the first investments the NSW Government has made from its $26 million Quantum Computing Fund".

The company has been formed by existing investors into the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T); namely USNW (which has invested $25 million into the centre), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($14m), Telstra ($10m) and the Federal Government ($25m over five years as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda).

Australia's first hardware quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, has been launched to advance the development and commercialisation of UNSW Sydney's world-leading quantum computing technology. "From that we will develop a patent pool which we hope will be without peer in the world", Menzies said.

Michelle Simmons, UNSW Professor of Physics and director of the CQC2T with Senator Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science at the company launch. We've invested more than $14m in quantum computing, because we believe in its future promise, we believe in its future capability, we believe in its potential as a differentiator. "And that is what this company is all about", Senator Sinodinos said.

"Silicon Quantum Computing is a prime example of how governments, researchers and business can work together to translate great Australian research into commercial reality", he said. The NSW Government will formally join the company later in 2017.

Corporate lawyer and company director Stephen Menzies will act as interim chair.

Up to 40 staff are projected to be hired as a result of the new company, including 25 postdoctoral researchers, 12 PhD students, and lab technicians, with recruitment now underway.

Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd research leadership team.

"Whatever sector of innovation, we want to be really good in, we need to be world beaters", he said on Wednesday. The company would maintain vital IP in Australia and develop a nascent quantum information ecosystem in NSW, he said.

"We have a board that is very corporate-focussed on developing and funding the engineering work to develop a 10-qubit device", Menzies said. We will fund hardware. "But beyond that, we see that we have a stage on which we develop across Australia and across Australian institutions, a broad quantum industry".

"The company will need additional monies and the business plan contemplates that additional shareholders will join - all of whom we hope will bring strategic focus to the business and who will bring their own enthusiasm and passion to the technologies".

"I can assure you they are not going to walk in on day one and know how to use these things", he said previously. Led by UNSW Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons, the Centre's teams have produced the longest coherence time qubits in the solid state, the ability to optically address single dopant atoms in silicon, the lowest noise silicon devices and the first two qubit gate in silicon.

"It's an exciting time to invest in this new industry that will shape the 21st century".

"The world is accelerating in this field and by having a company sitting alongside a Centre of Excellence, with the powerhouse of students and post docs that come through, we can make sure that Australia stays at the very forefront of this race".

"We want to be able to create a competitive advantage, command a premium, and you do that by doing something new, something that others find it hard to replicate, or it takes them time to replicate and by the time they have replicated it, you've moved on to something else". So it's Telstra's aim to be in a position that, when that happens, we are skilled and knowledgeable about how to deliver those services to our customers.

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