Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) is the first academic institute in the country to join an IBM programme promoting quantum computing development and research.
As a member of the IBM Quantum Network, IIT Madras will get cloud-based access to the American company’s advanced quantum computing systems and expertise to explore applications. The network has about 50-53 academic institutes from across the world.
“Today IBM Quantum eco-system consists of over 400,000 registered users of quantum technology, an eco-system of 100 organisations that has access to the largest fleet of more than 20 qbits computers today. The collaboration will open new avenues to work with industry partners to accelerate research, make quantum real and create a vibrant quantum ecosystem in India,” said Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India.
IIT Madras’ Centre for Quantum Information, Communication and Computing (CQuICC) will focus on advancing core algorithms in research areas like quantum machine learning, quantum optimisation, and applications research in finance. “This collaboration with the IBM Quantum Network marks an exciting new phase for our Center. It builds on our successful collaboration on quantum computing education, last year, and promises to open up new avenues and directions for research and innovation,” said Dr Anil Prabhakar, professor, department of electrical engineering, IIT Madras.
According to Amith Singhee, director, IBM research India, the country is “among the top few in the list of our users of quantum systems”.
IBM and IIT Madras have a long association in education and research areas like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Last year, IIT Madras joined IBM’s Quantum Education Program to provide its students and faculty access to the company’s quantum learning resources, quantum tools, and quantum systems for education and research. In August last year, IBM Quantum and IIT Madras jointly offered a course on quantum computing to over 10,000 participants.
“Becoming a part of the IBM Quantum Network will provide our faculty direct access to state-of-the-art quantum hardware and software. It enables us to use our interdisciplinary expertise to tackle some of the challenging problems in the domain of quantum computing today,” said Dr Prabha Mandayam, associate professor, Department of Physics, IIT Madras.