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The National University of Singapore (NUS) has signed a three-year collaboration agreement with IBM, focusing on research and training specific to quantum computing.
Driven by the Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) - which is supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) - the national initiative is designed to help researchers convert research in quantum science and technologies into commercial products.
“Singapore is a global hub where innovation is driven by a strategic combination of talents, world-class research and a vibrant tech-transfer ecosystem,” said Professor Chen Tsuhan, deputy president of Research and Technology at NUS.
As a member of the IBM Q Network, Professor Tsuhan said QEP researchers in Singapore will have access via the cloud to the IBM Quantum Computation Centre, which houses 15 universal quantum computing systems including a 53-qubit qubit system.
The collaboration will also provide training opportunities for researchers, in addition to promoting partnerships between academia and industry to develop new software in quantum computing and to advance research in the field.
“The funding from this programme aims to bring together expertise across several universities to drive the advancement of quantum technology,” Professor Tsuhan added. “This partnership with IBM will potentially open up avenues for researchers to apply quantum computing to different fields, including chemistry, materials science, biology, finance and cyber security, particularly those dealing with uncertainty and constrained optimisation.
“The know-how and experience gained will help ensure that Singapore is ready to harness the quantum revolution for social and economic benefits.”
Specific to IBM, the vendor will organise local Qiskit hackathons and developer camps to "increase awareness, skills and capabilities" in quantum computing. Qiskit operates as an open source quantum software framework to create and run quantum computing programmes, hosting more than 325,000 downloads.
"Given Singapore's investment in building skills and cutting-edge technology, the country is well poised to become quantum ready," said Dario Gil, director of IBM Research. "Quantum computing will begin significantly transforming the industrial landscape over the next decade, but before this can be achieved, we need to continue to grow the quantum community, globally."
Through this collaboration, NUS joins a worldwide community focused on increasing the education, research and commercialisation of practical quantum technologies.