Microsoft to scale up quantum computing in multi-year deal with the University of Sydney

04 Aug 2017

The University of Sydney and Microsoft have signed a multi-year partnership for quantum research in Australia. As part of the deal, the university will host Station Q Sydney, a laboratory dedicated to research into the mathematics and physics of topological quantum computation.

The long-term investment by Microsoft will enable Sydney University to fund new equipment purchases and staff positions as part of its push to become a hub for Australia’s ‘quantum economy’.

Led by scientific director Professor David Reilly from Sydney University’s School of Physics and housed inside the A$150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub, Station Q Sydney joins Microsoft’s other experimental research sites at leading universities around the world such as Purdue University, Delft University of Technology, and the University of Copenhagen. There are only four labs of this kind in the world.

In a media release, Professor Reilly asserts that quantum computing is one of the most significant opportunities in the 21st century, with the potential to transform the global economy and society at large.

‘The deep partnership between Microsoft and the University of Sydney will allow us to help build a rich and robust local quantum economy by attracting more skilled people, investing in new equipment and research, and accelerate progress in quantum computing – a technology that we believe will disrupt the way we live, reshaping national and global security and revolutionising medicine, communications and transport,’ he says.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, says Australia is an ideal place for Microsoft to collaborate with international researchers who are taking a multidisciplinary approach to quantum computing research.

‘With cutting-edge nanoscience facilities and unique pathways to commercialisation, Sydney is now experiencing the emergence of a quantum economy, which has the potential to create untold educational and economic opportunities for New South Wales and Australia, just as Silicon Valley has done in California.’