Australia urged to invest in quantum computing ahead of future pandemics – Sydney Morning Herald

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30.Jul, 2020 0 news

Australia urged to invest in quantum computing ahead of future pandemics – Sydney Morning Herald

The founder of Sydney startup Q-CTRL says quantum computing could deliver new tools for drug development during future pandemic scenarios and Australia should invest now to reap the benefits.

Michael Biercuk, who is a professor of quantum physics and quantum technology at the University of Sydney. said global reports that quantum technologies could help solve the COVID-19 crisis were “disingenuous” because the sector is still too young to deliver practical applications. However, scaling up research and development now could help with medical research in the decades to come.

Professor Michael Biercuk says the country must think in decades when considering research investment.

Professor Michael Biercuk says the country must think in decades when considering research investment. Credit:Jessica Hromas

“The first thing to realise is that the time scales are not unfavourable. [For example], SARS was in 2003 – so 17 years ago, we had that massive outbreak. And in 17 years from now, or even less, we certainly believe quantum will be at a more advanced stage,” Professor Biercuk said.

Quantum computing harnesses the powers of quantum mechanics to process information more efficiently than traditional computers. It’s hoped that quantum technologies will eventually have uses in defence, artificial intelligence and pharmaceutical development.

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