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Dr Nerissa Hannink
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The University of Melbourne has joined as an initial member of the newly formed IBM Q Network, a collaboration of leading Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs working directly with IBM to explore quantum applications for business and science.

Other institutions include JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung, JSR Corporation, Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda, Nagase, Keio University, Oak Ridge National Lab and Oxford University.

The University of Melbourne, a leading Australian hub for quantum computing, will have online access to the IBM Q Network at 20 qubits with a demonstrated path to 50 qubits.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the University was excited to work with IBM to explore how quantum computing could benefit Australian research, industry and education, and address new computational challenges.

“By becoming an IBM Q Network Hub, and having access to advanced quantum systems, it will allow our scientists and engineers to develop knowledge for quantum solutions applicable to industry problems in mining, energy and finance," Professor McCluskey said.

 The IBM Q Network provides organizations with quantum expertise and resources, and cloud-based access to the most advanced universal quantum computing systems and technology stack available. The network will foster a growing quantum computing ecosystem based on IBM’s open source quantum software and developer tools.

“IBM sees the next few years as the dawn of the commercial quantum era – a formative period when quantum computing technology and its early use cases develop rapidly,” said IBM Research Vice President of AI and IBM Q Dario Gil.

“The IBM Q Network will focus on discovering areas of quantum advantage by investigating practical applications of quantum computers with commercial, intellectual and societal benefit.”

As an IBM Q Network Hub, University of Melbourne researchers will work directly with IBM scientists and engineers to pioneer quantum computing solutions to real-world problems that can be solved faster or more efficiently with a quantum computer than with a classical computer. The IBM Q Network Hub at the University of Melbourne will broadly enable industry and research collaborators to have online use of IBM Q systems and engage in joint development work to explore quantum computing.

Thomas Baker Chair in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne Lloyd Hollenberg said that by providing access to the upcoming IBM Q systems, the collaboration would enable researchers to program and run quantum algorithms on actual quantum computers and gain valuable experience.

“In addition, with our highly developed capability in designing and simulating quantum algorithms, users of the IBM Q Network Hub at the University of Melbourne will be ideally placed to compare results from the IBM Q systems directly with supercomputer simulations to understand, in depth, how quantum information is processed in these machines,” Professor Hollenberg said.

“We look forward to working with IBM to develop quantum software in different areas, as well as interfacing these systems with new teaching initiatives in quantum computing at the University. The strength of Australian research in quantum computing is well-recognised internationally – the IBM Q Network Hub at the University of Melbourne will engage with these activities across academia and industry, providing a key focus on cutting edge quantum programming and applications development.”