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Taiwan’s National Quantum Computing Research Team Assembled

Aware of the massive potential for Industry 4.0, Taiwan has formed a team comprising 17 research groups with the ultimate goal of accelerating the development of quantum computing. Based on a series of theoretical technologies borrowed from quantum, mechanics, a quantum computer shows lots of promise as it is capable of exceeding the physical limitations of conventional computers. In essence, it is described as dealing with atomic and subatomic particles to process information at speeds up to a million times faster than conventional circuits.

Quantum computing is going to push the door wide open to the nation’s quest for digital transformation. With old school computer technologies already nearing the constraints set out by the laws of physics, quantum technologies are considered the viable solution to introduce the next generation of computers. Even when feasible applications are still thought to be decades away, quantum computing is a promise that is simply too big to be taken for granted.

Towards this end, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology recently announced that a team of 72 experts and 24 enterprises had been assembled to basically deal with just that: research the development of quantum elements, computers, and communications systems.

Knowing how quantum technology would have a great impact on the nation’s digital capabilities (e.g., cybersecurity, financial sector, national defence industry), Taiwan formally sanctioned needed research to start the ball rolling. Wu Tsung-tsong, Minister of Science and Technology who is also deputy convener of the Board of Science and Technology, announced the formation of the team in an inter-ministerial press conference. Moreover, he detailed that the research team would be specifically tasked to establish an upstream-downstream research and development model.

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Academia Sinica, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) have joined the team, while the Financial Supervisory Commission and the National Development Council are expected to join it, Wu disclosed.

The stakes could be no greater for the country. Head of the MOEA’s Department of Industrial Technology, Chiou Chyou-huey said that as quantum technologies were expected to create enormous business opportunities, the MOEA would invest NT$ 320 million (US$ 11.21 million) in the research and development of quantum-related technologies over the next four years.

For their part, Academia Sinica President said that research staff in the academic institution had spent a decade extensively researching quantum computing technology and quantum materials. The national academy’s southern branch in Tainan, which is still under construction, is set to become Taiwan’s quantum technology research and development base.

Quantum computers’ powerful computation abilities are key to putting technology to the next level. For instance, it is expected to bring about a breakthrough for the pharmaceutical sector. If applied to drug discovery, these next-gen computers could model and test new drugs through molecular simulation.

Digital adoption is definitely looking good in Taiwan. In December 2021, MOST unveiled its plan to invest NT$ 8 billion over five years to build a platform for the research and development of quantum technologies. That should set things in motion.

Already, digitisation is starting to make its presence felt in the nation, allowing services that used to be out-of-reach to be available to the masses. A concrete example is how seniors can now enjoy all the benefits of emerging technology in a smart geriatric hospital, the country’s first. That means caring for the aged would be a lot more client-centric, thanks to technology.

Taiwan is gearing up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and with the planet in mind too. Recently, it has unveiled a revolutionary 5G base station energy saving station that will allow better management of energy, not to mention greater 5G efficiency — as reported on OpenGov Asia.

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