The successful dissemination of information on quantum computing (QC) and the wider purview of quantum information theory (QIS) will take the unified effort from a whole host of sources: governments, universities and research centres first and foremost, followed by industry, startups and enthusiastic individuals with a passion for the sector.
And the Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) — built on the solid foundations of partnerships between several elite Australian universities and the New South Wales Government — is one educational initiative doing just that.
As a city, Sydney is on the quantum up with startups like Q-CTRL and Silicon Quantum Computing leading the pack in the private sector while Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney, and the University of Technology Sydney do their thing in the academic sphere. All four universities, coincidentally, are also SQA’s partners. This will help them build Australia’s quantum economy by harnessing
“Sydney’s collective quantum expertise to develop diverse talent and a globally recognised quantum ecosystem.”
Grandiose plans aside for a moment, SQA’s granular goals encompass developing quantum leaders, specialists and entrepreneurs via education and training, attracting top-class investment aligned with their goals and collaborating with the best to promote the development and use of quantum technologies so that it benefits everyone.
All this starts with the programs SQA runs, formulated to build a workforce that is quantum-ready.
These include the undergraduate, Ph.D. and Fellowship programs on offer from the aforementioned universities.
Are you more Jordan Belfort than Richard Feynman?
That’s fine, man — the SQA has come up with the Quantum Innovators Network to assist the inchoate quantum tech community in all things in the way of startup culture, harnessing “entrepreneurially-minded quantum trailblazers” with experts who have already been there and done that in the startup world.
A win-win for everyone.
Lead in all this is CEO Peter Turner, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, who heads a team of experts in their fields that includes an impressive advisory board of Jay Gambetta, an IBM Fellow and VP, Hartmut Neven, Head of Quantum Computing at Google, Jeremy O’Brien, CEO of PsiQuantum, Vikram Sharma CEO of Quintessence Labs, and the inspirational Krysta Svore, general manager of Quantum Software at Microsoft.
Turner is also a member of the university’s Research Centre for Quantum Engineering. With twenty years in the field, his research has been awarded millions in the UK, US, Japan, and Canada.
Although QUANTUM is nowhere near the realm of AI, ML, blockchain, and cryptocurrency as far as commercial potential goes, the industry is gaining traction fast — Quantum startup IonQ’s $650 million SPAC deal to go public (with a market cap of about $2 billion!) is enough proof of that and a signal that it won’t be long before the champagne bottles will be popping their corks rather more frequently.
Yet we all know that’s economic immaturity. SQA sees where the industry is now. They have a positive agenda to spread the word by quantum through education, experience and other avenues to put Sydney, and maybe more importantly, Australia on the QIS map forever.