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India, Israel Explore Quantum Technologies

Image credit: DRDO_India

A two-day Indo-Israel bilateral workshop on quantum technologies (I2QT-2022) has concluded. It was organised by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the DRDO-Industry-Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE) from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (IIT-Delhi). The objective of the workshop was to deliberate on quantum technologies, evolve a joint quantum technology roadmap, and plan for developing technologies through collaboration between the countries.

Indian and Israeli delegations consisting of academic experts, research and development (R&D) professionals, and industry partners attended the event. Many start-ups and SMEs from Indian industries participated and presented their work. According to a press release, the workshop also featured several technical sessions in identified technology areas. The topics of discussion revolved around photonics-based quantum computing, sensing, encryption, quantum magnetometry, atomic clocks, and free-space quantum communication. The collaborative research proposals discussed during the workshop will help evolve technological solutions for various applications, ranging from scientific exploration to secured communication, gravimetry, and navigation.

The concluding session was a brainstorming meeting to formulate a roadmap and evolve specific areas of collaboration. The workshop was “a crucial step towards bringing together the research fraternity for increasing the pace of research in the field of quantum technologies,” the release claimed. It was the next step of the Bilateral Innovation Agreement (BIA) signed between DRDO and Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) in November 2021 to promote innovation and accelerated R&D in start-ups and SMEs. The agreement also intended to develop cutting-edge technologies including quantum technology through joint funding from DRDO and DDR&D. The technologies developed under the BIA will be available to both countries for their domestic applications.

India has been working with several countries to boost quantum research and development. As OpenGov Asia reported last month, India and Finland worked out a detailed plan to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing. According to the Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, India has identified three premier institutes to work with Finnish counterpart institutions in the centre. The institutes include the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras), the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

The adoption of quantum technologies across industries has the potential to add US$280-US$310 billion of value to the Indian economy by 2030, as per a recent report. The uptake by Indian companies is also poised to grow by 45%. The manufacturing, high-tech, banking, and defence sectors are expected to be forerunners in terms of quantum technologies adoption for critical and large-scale use cases.

The Indian quantum ecosystem is developing significantly, with 10-15 government agencies, 20-30 service providers, 15-20 startups, and 40-50 academic institutions operating in the field. Out of the almost 100 quantum projects launched in the country, the government funds approximately 92%. The rise in cloud hyperscalers is also making quantum technology more accessible on the cloud. In India, the adoption of quantum computing technology in companies is about 1-2%. This is forecast to increase to 35-45% over the next ten years.

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