S'pore boosts investments in quantum computing with 2 new programmes: Heng Swee Keat

SINGAPORE – Singapore is stepping up its investments into quantum computing with two new initiatives aimed at boosting talent development and providing better access to the nascent technology.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (May 31) announced the launch of the National Quantum Computing Hub, which will pool expertise and resources from the Centre for Quantum Technologies and other institutions, and the National Quantum Fabless Foundry.

The foundry will develop the components and materials needed to build quantum computers and devices.

The hub will also host Singapore’s first quantum computer of its own and allow companies and government agencies to access and test it out directly instead of over a cloud network, which means less lead time and lag.

“Our investment in quantum computing and quantum engineering is part of our approach of trying to anticipate the future, and proactively shaping the future that we want,” Mr Heng said in his opening address at the second Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) summit.

The event at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel is organised by Infocomm Media Development Authority.

“The greater the potential of cyberspace, the greater the cyber risks. Malicious actors will seek to profit from these through any means.

“It is not sufficient to try to stay one step ahead. If we do, we often end up one step behind, chasing down and closing the last threat.

“To counter them, we not only need to remain vigilant to present threats, we must also invest to stay not one step, but one leap ahead.”

The hub and fabless foundry are part of the National Research Foundation’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), along with the National Quantum Safe-Network announced in February.

The three initiatives will receive at least $23.5 million from the QEP for up to 3½ years under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan.

Dr Alexander Ling, director of the QEP, said the new hub will help train users in companies or government agencies to be more “quantum-literate” and understand the capabilities and limitations of quantum computing technology.

He added that building a quantum computer will also help Singapore understand the challenges associated with constructing and maintaining one.


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