Deakin-Cisco quantum computing research receives CSIRO funding

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CSIRO has awarded a $332,000 funding boost to a Deakin University-led quantum computing project as part of the $3.6 million Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program. 

The Distributed Quantum Computing: Algorithms and Software project is a collaboration between researchers from Deakin University and Cisco and aims to develop algorithms and software to utilise the power of multiple quantum computers networked together. 

The funding will back the project’s efforts to recruit PhD candidates to form the next generation of Australia’s quantum computing talent. 

The project is one of four initiatives to receive funding from the CSIRO program, which supports 16 PhD scholarships for projects across 11 Australian Universities. 

The quantum computing project is led by three researchers from the Deakin School of IT, namely Professor Seng Loke, Professor Jinho Choi, and Dr Jihong Park, in collaboration with Dr Stephen DiAdamo from Cisco.

The area of research is intended to develop advancements for an eventual “quantum internet.” 

According to Professor Loke, the field of quantum computing requires a new understanding of how computers talk to each other. 

“Recently, quantum computing has made significant progress, with advancements in building computers with multiple qubits. At the same time, there’s active research in quantum networking, paving the way for a large-scale quantum internet that connects multiple quantum computers,” Loke said.

“Similar to how classical distributed computing works, this progress opens up the possibility of leveraging qubits from multiple quantum computers for larger-scale quantum computing, known as Distributed Quantum Computing (DQC),’ he added. 

The project is focused on developing algorithms and software for DQC and Deakin is collaborating with Cisco researchers who are working on the next generation of networking based on quantum engineering. 

“We’re looking forward to working with talented PhD candidates on this work. DQC holds incredible promise for various applications, including quantum machine learning, large-scale optimisation and quantum protocols,” Professor Loke said. 

CSIRO’s Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program seeks to tap into existing university resources, activities, and networks to bring students together to work on challenges proposed by industry partners. 

The program aims to solve real industry challenges while helping boost Australia’s emerging quantum skills and capacity and will fund scholarships and allowances from 2024 to 2029. 

The grants will help cement the position of Australian scientists at the forefront of quantum technology, said Dr Aaron Quigley, CSIRO’s Data61 science director.