ANU at forefront of Australia’s quantum future

Artist's impression of a system of detectors along quantum circuits to monitor light particles. Image: Kai Wang, ANU

The Australian National University (ANU) will play a key role in shaping Australia's next-generation technology, according to a new roadmap for the emerging quantum industry launched by the CSIRO today.

The roadmap recognises ANU as a leading example across quantum research, education and commercialisation.

Dr Marcus Doherty says quantum technology has the ability to transform the 21st century, especially in the areas of computing, communications, sensing and imaging.

"Australia is a genuine world-leader in quantum research, and at ANU we are translating that research excellence into commercial applications to create a major new high-tech industry for Australia," said Dr Doherty.

This new industry could generate more than $4 billion a year in revenue and 16,000 jobs in Australia by 2040 from innovations such as enhanced medical imaging, accelerated drug design, human-machine interfacing, to precision mineral exploration, climate and weather modelling, and secure defence communications.

Innovative start-up companies are a major part of building a quantum industry.

"As featured in the roadmap, ANU is the largest producer of quantum-related start-up companies in Australia. Prime examples include the established QuintessenceLabs and Liquid Instruments as well as the new and accelerating Quantum Brilliance and Nomad Atomics," said Dr Doherty.

"Quantum Brilliance is building quantum microprocessors that promise to transform the future of computing. Today, they announced an agreement with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to create Australia's first quantum-supercomputing hub to drive national computing innovation.

"Nomad Atomics is helping secure the future of Australia's resource sectors and deliver the Australian Defence Force a sovereign capability in precision navigation through the commercial development of next-generation quantum sensors."

ANU is also identified in the roadmap as one of the nation's biggest producers of quantum-related research.

"ANU is a major part of Australia's strength in quantum research," said Professor Ping Koy Lam.

"This is evident by our involvement in four quantum-related ARC Centres of Excellence and international collaborations like InSpace, as well as the key national facilities and research infrastructure we host.

"Our research contributions span from enhancing gravitational wave detection at LIGO to records in quantum data storage."

The ANU Masters of Science in Quantum Technology was used as an example in the roadmap as a one of the pioneering education programs helping prepare the future quantum workforce.

"What's distinctive about our master's program is that it takes a breadth of students from different disciplines and provides them, not only the technical knowledge, but also the entrepreneurial skills, industry knowledge and networks to succeed," said Dr Sean Hodgman.

"It's exciting and challenging to educate for an industry as it builds. Maybe one of my students will be the Steve Jobs or Bill Gates of quantum."

ANU commends CSIRO on the roadmap and supports its recommendations. It welcomes collaboration with other institutions, industry and government and the opportunity to contribute to the implementation of the roadmap. As the national university, the ANU will continue to help build a quantum industry for the benefit of all of Australia.

A full copy of the roadmap is available online. For more information on ANU quantum research, education and commercialisation activities, see https://physics.anu.edu.au/research/explore/quantum/.

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