Australia Bets Big on Quantum Computing with Nearly $1B Investment in PsiQuantum

H Hannan

Australia Bets Big on Quantum Computing with Nearly $1B Investment in PsiQuantum
Read More Quantum Computing News HERE.

In a significant move to advance quantum computing technology, the Australian government has announced a pledge of approximately AUD$940 million (US$617 million) to PsiQuantum, a quantum computing startup based in Silicon Valley. In exchange for the funding, of which half will come from the Queensland government, PsiQuantum will locate its planned quantum computer in Brisbane, with a regional headquarters at Brisbane Airport.

PsiQuantum claims it will build the world’s first “useful” quantum computer by 2029, although some view this timeline as overly optimistic given the company’s previous 2025 target. The startup uses photon-based technology, which is expected to be less prone to errors compared to other approaches like superconducting circuits or trapped ions. However, the government’s selection process has faced criticism over lack of transparency in choosing PsiQuantum over local competitors such as Sydney-based Silicon Quantum Computing.

The investment falls under the Albanese government’s “Future Made in Australia” policy and is expected to create up to 400 specialized jobs, retaining and attracting highly skilled talent to the state and country. Success could potentially lead to an additional $48 billion in GDP and 240,000 new jobs in Australia by 2040.

Quantum computers operate fundamentally differently from traditional digital computers, using principles of quantum physics to potentially perform calculations that are not feasible for digital computers. While quantum algorithms can solve some problems with far fewer steps, no one has yet built a reliable, large-scale quantum computer.

To support this investment and expand Australia’s quantum expertise, education and training efforts like the Sydney Quantum Academy, Australian Centre for Quantum Growth, and quantum literacy initiatives will be crucial. With the right development, Australia aims to become a net exporter in the quantum industry and a major player in the global race for a quantum computer, which has enormous potential for applications like code-breaking, drug discovery, climate modeling and solving other complex computational problems.

Leave a Comment