Australia's first quantum computing hardware company launched today, with the goal of producing a 10 qubit integrated circuit prototype by 2022.
Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) Pty Ltd will develop and commercialise a prototype circuit, which will serve as a "forerunner to a silicon-based quantum computer" the company said.
The company has been formed by existing investors into the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T); namely USNW (which has invested $25 million into the centre), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($14m), Telstra ($10m) and the Federal Government ($25m over five years as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda).
The NSW Government today said it had pledged $8.7m towards the venture, the money coming from its Quantum Computing Fund which was announced in July.
SQC’s board is made up of Michelle Simmons, UNSW Professor of Physics and director of the CQC2T; Hugh Bradlow, Telstra’s chief scientist; David Whiteing, Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s chief information officer; and Glenys Beauchamp, secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Michelle Simmons, UNSW Professor of Physics and director of the CQC2T with Senator Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science at the company launch.
Corporate lawyer and company director Stephen Menzies will act as interim chair.
“We have a board which is very corporately focused, on developing and funding the engineering work to develop a ten qubit device. We will fund hardware. From that we will develop a patent pool which we hope will be without peer in the world,” Menzies said.
“In the first five years we’re very focused, the business plan is focused, on the patents associated with an engineered 10 quibit device. But beyond that we see that we have a stage on which we can develop across Australia, and Australian institutions, a broad quantum industry.”
The company is seeking a further three shareholders to bring the total investment up to $100m.
“The company will need additional moneys, and the business plan contemplates it will have additional shareholders who will join. All of whom we hope will bring strategic focus to the business and company, and also will bring their own enthusiasm and passion for quantum technologies,” Menzies added.
SQC – which will operate within the Centre for QTC at UNSW in Sydney – has already started recruiting for forty roles, including 25 postdoctoral researchers, 12 PhD students, and a number of lab technicians.
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