The Quantum Control Lab, led by Q3 Speaker, Associate Professor Michael Biercuk at the University of Sydney’s new Nanoscience Hub has been awarded a multimillion dollar grant for research in quantum computing by the US office of the Director of National Intelligence, reported by the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.

The Nanoscience Hub is the only facility in Australia chosen for the US funding and the grant forms part of a program run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

According to the report, IARPA’s program aims to deliver a “logical quantum bit based on trapped ions”, whereby quantum bits (qubits) are the building blocks for quantum computing, promising to revolutionise the way computers work.

Associate Professor Biercuk commented on the intelligence funding from IARPA as “not about building weapons but for supporting applied science research.” He also described the diversity of funding programs in the US, many from the military or intelligence organisations unlike Australia.Project Q’s director Professor James Der Derian was also asked to comment on the Lab’s latest funding achievement from US intelligence, “Quantum tech is not containable, no matter what these agencies want. Without them we wouldn’t have computers, television or the internet.”

The support from the US follows after the launch of the Sydney Nanoscience Hub at the University of Sydney, as well as the new quantum computing complex at the University of New South Wales opening just two weeks ago. The combined effort in quantum research continues to prove that Australia is an emerging global hub of quantum science.

Photo: Nick Moir