Chicago Quantum Exchange announces first international partners

University of New South Wales and QuTech join UChicago-based research organization

Leading research organizations in Europe and Australia have joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange as its first international members, creating global partnerships that are essential to new breakthroughs in quantum science and engineering.

QuTech, a partnership between the Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, and the University of New South Wales in Australia are now part of one of the largest collaborative teams working on quantum science in the world. They join more than 100 scientists and engineers from academia, industry and government who make up the Chicago Quantum Exchange headquartered at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Adding these international leaders significantly increase the resources and available talent to make advances in quantum computing, communication and sensing.

“Assembling the world’s leading organizations will accelerate advances in quantum science and engineering, as well as help identify unique applications for this nascent technology,” said David Awschalom, director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. “By partnering with QuTech and the University of New South Wales, we can collectively leverage the unique capabilities of each of our organizations to unlock the immense possibilities of the quantum world.”

Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and a senior scientist at UChicago-affiliated Argonne National Laboratory, announced the international partnerships on Oct. 25 at the second Chicago Quantum Summit, which convened leaders in quantum technology from around the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Event footage of the 2019 Chicago Quantum Summit.

This year’s Chicago Quantum Summit focuses on the international relationships that will be critical in building quantum technologies and applications. One such application, a global quantum communications network, will require worldwide scientific collaboration. Researchers believe such a network will someday be able to “teleport” information from one side of the world to the other.

As members of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, the University of New South Wales and QuTech join the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. The Chicago Quantum Exchange also includes seven industry partners: IBM, Boeing, Applied Materials, Inc., ColdQuanta, Inc., HRL Laboratories LLC, Quantum Opus LLC, and Rigetti Computing.

“The quest to build a quantum computer has always been an international endeavor,” said Michelle Simmons, director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales. “At UNSW we have a long history of collaboration with American scientists and funders. We are now thrilled to be adding the Chicago Quantum Exchange to our global partners. Together, we hope to keep pushing the boundaries of physics in order to create amazing new technologies and to make unprecedented new discoveries in quantum science.”

Quantum physicists and electrical engineers at the University of New South Wales are world leaders in silicon-based quantum computing. In July 2019, their teams announced the fastest two qubit gate—a central building block of any quantum computer—between atom qubits in silicon. This major milestone in the quest to build a quantum computer is the latest in a stream of significant achievements in silicon qubits from the university.

The Chicago Quantum Exchange and the new international partners aim to develop a broad range of collaborative research projects and to enhance student and postdoctoral training opportunities. The Chicago Quantum Exchange and the University of New South Wales will focus on topics ranging from benchmarking quantum systems and material design to new schemes for entangling quantum information within integrated circuits.

The collaboration with QuTech will develop research partnerships in areas such as quantum computing, sensing and communication.

QuTech brings together science and engineering to create scalable prototypes for quantum computing and an inherently safe quantum internet. It is a national icon for the Netherlands and chairs the national quantum agenda. QuTech has pioneered quantum effects in semiconductor and superconductor circuits for more than two decades, and has consistently translated fundamental scientific breakthroughs into leading quantum technology developments. It connects actively to a national ecosystem, including many companies on its Quantum Delft Campus, and other important Dutch and international players.

“By exploiting phenomena from quantum physics, QuTech works in close collaboration with knowledge institutes and industrial partners to revolutionize computing and communication technology,” said Ronald Hanson, scientific director at QuTech. “We are pleased to join the Chicago Quantum Exchange, offering our faculty, students, staff and postdoctoral trainees additional opportunities for collaborative research projects towards our common goal.”