The University of Sydney has announced a $7.4 million investment to expand its quantum technology facilities to establish the Future Qubit Foundry at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.
The foundry will be a national-leading facility to invent the technology of tomorrow’s quantum computers, enabling them to operate at scale and be of use to society.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said: “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.
“Crucially, it will also help ensure Australia can train the quantum workforce needed to operate tomorrow’s quantum tech.”
The announcement came on the eve of the Quantum Australia conference hosted by the Sydney Quantum Academy, a collaboration between the University of Sydney, UNSW, Macquarie University, UTS and the NSW Government.
Quantum computers operating at scale promise to solve intractable problems in drug design, cryptography and engineering outside the reach of classical computing. CSIRO predicts that quantum technology will be a $6 billion industry in Australia by 2045, employing 19,400 people.
Professor Johnston said: “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.”
The University's impressive quantum infrastructure already acts as a beacon to attract world-class researchers to Sydney.
“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,” Professor Stephen Bartlett, Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Science, 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.”
Professor Bartlett, who heads the University’s quantum theory group in the School of Physics, said that the building blocks of tomorrow’s quantum computers are yet to be invented.
“That’s why it’s so vital to invest now into facilities like this to accelerate qubit research.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research – Enterprise and Engagement) Professor Julie Cairney said: “The Future Qubit Foundry is being designed so that we can work with government and industry to scale it up.
“We envisage building an expanded facility that is available to the Australian quantum research community and, importantly, can be utilised by the emerging quantum tech private sector.”
The University of Sydney Future Qubit Foundry will bring together Sydney’s existing strengths in quantum computing research to focus on the fundamental science, engineering and industry partnerships needed to invent the next generation of qubits.
It will occupy world-class 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.