August 2, 2021 – The National University of Singapore (NUS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to collaborate to advance the development of quantum communication and computing technologies and potential industrial applications of quantum capabilities.
Quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are inaccessible to classical computers by using the laws of quantum mechanics to develop more powerful tools for processing information. The development of quantum algorithms and the design of useful quantum applications require new skills and possibly radically different approaches. Quantum communication offers encryption that is resistant to computer hacks and new possibilities in networking.
The collaboration is led by the Quantum Engineering Program (QEP), a national initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) that aims to use quantum technologies to solve real-world problems. The program is hosted by NUS.
As part of the MoU, AWS will support QEP in the development of quantum computing research and projects and establish a connection to the National Quantum-Safe Network for quantum communication. Both areas include the identification of use cases and the development of applications that could support the future commercialization of the quantum computing and communication technologies developed in Singapore, as well as the joint organization of academic, scientific and public activities such as seminars, workshops, festivals and conferences.
Professor Chen Tsuhan, Vice President of the NIS (Research and Technology) said: “Singapore’s path to a knowledge-based economy requires the right mix of world-class talent, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a well-established knowledge transfer ecosystem. A cornerstone of this vision is the QEP hosted at NUS, which brings together expertise in the fields of quantum science and engineering and aims to translate radical innovations into marketable solutions. This cooperation between QEP and AWS is a decisive factor for the complete digital transformation of the country and opens the door to a quantum-capable future. “
Quantum technologies have been identified as a key technology area under the NRF-managed Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan. The collaboration between QEP and AWS will accelerate the development of innovations and solutions in this area.
Mr. Ling Keok Tong, Director (Smart Nation and Digital Economy) at NRF said, “Through our early and steady investments over the past 20 years, Singapore has developed world-class capabilities in quantum technologies. We intend to work with AWS to bring these technologies to life through actual products and services and continue to spur our local research ecosystem to push the boundaries of developing skills and technologies of interest to the industry. “
“Singapore has built up its quantum technology expertise over many years. AWS is excited to partner with QEP to accelerate quantum innovation in Singapore in direct collaboration with researchers, developers, governments and organizations, ”said Tan Lee Chew, ASEAN Managing Director, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “We strive to bring quantum technology to every customer in order to experiment and explore the potential of the technology to develop industry-oriented solutions that solve significant customer challenges.”
QEP and AWS forged the collaboration with the common goal of expanding skills in the quantum community.
Since its inception, QEP has supported eight major research projects to advance the development of quantum technologies. New projects include research into more powerful hardware and software solutions for quantum computers (which could outperform today’s supercomputers) for commercial tasks such as optimizing delivery routes for goods, simulating chemicals for drug development, or manufacturing products more efficiently. These solutions could become a reality as larger, more advanced quantum computers become available. Meanwhile, in the National Quantum-Safe Network, highly secure quantum communication systems are being integrated into local fiber optic networks.
QEP also promotes opportunities for local and international businesses to be drawn into Singapore’s dynamic innovation ecosystem.
AWS supports democratized access to quantum computing through Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service that helps researchers and developers get started with the technology to accelerate research and discovery. Amazon Braket provides access to three types of quantum hardware, including quantum annealers and gate-based systems based on superconducting qubits and trapped ions, as well as tools for running hybrid quantum and classical algorithms. Amazon Braket’s cross-platform developer tools provide a consistent experience so users don’t have to learn multiple development environments.
“QEP is preparing Singapore to become a hub for innovation in quantum devices and services, and to make this a success, efforts must work with industry,” said Professor Alexander Ling, director of QEP. “We are excited that AWS is bringing its breadth and depth of cloud technologies to support this shared vision. We look forward to the results of this collaboration, ”added Assoc.
Source: National University of Singapore