The University of Sydney will spend $7.4 million to expand its quantum technology facilities for the Future Qubit Foundry at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said the foundry will be a leading national facility for the invention of technology behind quantum computers
“The Future Qubit Foundry will leverage the University of Sydney’s research leadership in advanced quantum technologies and put us at the forefront of next-generation design of qubits, the heart of quantum computers,” she said.
“Crucially, it will also help ensure Australia can train the quantum workforce needed to operate tomorrow’s quantum tech.”
A qubit is a basic unit of quantum information in the same way a binary bit is the building block of traditional computing
The university’s investment comes as industry leaders gather for the Sydney Quantum Academy conference, Quantum Australia. The academy is a collaboration between four local universities – Sydney, UNSW, Macquarie and UTS along with the NSW Government.
CSIRO predicts that quantum technology will be a $6 billion industry in Australia by 2045, employing 19,400 people, and Profession Johnston said quantum computers have the potential to solve intractable problems in drug design, cryptography and engineering, which are currently beyond the reach of classical computing.
“By training the very best quantum technologists, the University will deliver tangible benefits to the Australian economy. And it will lock us into global supply chains as quantum computers come into their own,” she said.
Professor Stephen Bartlett, who heads the University’s quantum theory group in the School of Physics, said the building blocks of tomorrow’s quantum computers are yet to be invented, but the University’s existing quantum infrastructure is already attracting world-class researchers.
“Australians like Dr John Bartholomew, who was at Caltech, and Dr Xanthe Croot, who was at Princeton, have come home to establish research teams at Sydney to develop future quantum tech,” he said.
“The qubit foundry will add to our national and global standing, ensuring Sydney is one of the world’s best places to research quantum technology.”
The University of Sydney Future Qubit Foundry will focus on the fundamental science, engineering and industry partnerships needed to invent the next generation of qubits. It will feature a laboratory and cleanroom space in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub, offer national-leading facilities for fabricating and characterising novel quantum devices and attract and host new strategic hires in quantum materials and devices.