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IIT-Madras Inks MoU to Boost Applied Research in Quantum Computing

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) is working with a private IT solutions provider to accelerate applied research in quantum computing. The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a hub for quantum science and technology and promote fundamental and applied research in quantum technologies.

They also aim to democratise access to education in the field and assist start-ups aligned to relevant domains. IIT-Madras will develop and attract talent to the quantum ecosystem by offering a limited number of high-value scholarships to students who excel in research.

Countries all over the world are increasingly seen investing in Research & Development (R&D) in the field of Quantum. According to a statement from IIT-Madras, the partnership will fortify India’s leadership in quantum information, develop comprehensive training, and create quality resources for education and training in quantum computing.

The collaboration will democratise quantum learning through training programs tailored to specific industries, online certification programmes through the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), and continuing education through IITM’s web-enabled MTech program on Quantum Science and Technology (QuST). An official stated that over the next five years, the research will primarily focus on the expanses of quantum optimisation, quantum finance, quantum chemistry, quantum communication, quantum error correction, and quantum tomography.

The partnership will create a consortium of government, academia, and industry that will focus on research, bringing together multidisciplinary teams to solve challenges currently limiting the industrial applications of quantum science and technologies. The hub or quantum centre will also collaborate with global universities and disseminate its research findings through workshops, peer-reviewed papers, and conferences.

A report from February stated that 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. The uptake by Indian companies is also poised to grow by 45%. The manufacturing, high-tech, banking, and defence sectors could be forerunners in terms of quantum technology adoption for critical and large-scale use cases.

India has been working with several countries to support quantum research and development. In March, 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 IIT-Madras, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

In April, India and Isreal held a bilateral workshop on quantum technologies (I2QT-2022). As reported on OpenGov Asia, 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. 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.

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