The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a Quantum Computing Applications Lab in the country. The lab is meant to provide access to the quantum computing development environment for the developer, scientific and academic communities. “Enabling our scientific community with advanced technologies plays a key role in scientific advancements and learning,” said Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY. Amazon will provide hosting with technical and programmatic support for the lab.
According to Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY, the initiative is a first of its kind in the world and will pave the way for “new discoveries and disruptions”. The government says this new lab will take inputs from Central and State governments, Research Institutions and Academia to identify problem statements in quantum computing. It will also invite applications from researchers and work with subject matter experts. Selected applicants will be provided quantum computing hardware, simulators and programming tools on-demand and at no cost, through a quantum computing service called Amazon Braket.
It is unclear whether this initiative falls under the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications. The government had announced this Rs. 8000 crore project at the Union Budget last year. The initiative was to be implemented under the Department of Science and Technology over the next five years.
As an emerging field in technology, quantum computing has drawn interest from huge companies worldwide. This includes names like Google, IBM, Microsoft and many more. Countries, like the US and China, have also been interested in gaining a foothold in the race to quantum supremacy. According to reports, China has invested over $10 billion in its National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences.