(Algameiner.com) Israel is leveling up to join the race for quantum proficiency as leading countries, including in the European Union, seek to block multi-billion dollar opportunities for collaboration on the pivotal emerging technology.
Israel has embarked on a $375 million national initiative to invest in quantum technology — which promises to exponentially increase the processing speed of computers — and to build up its proficiency by 2025. As part of the initiative, the Israel Innovation Authority together with the Defense Ministry have begun to take requests from multinational companies, Israeli businesses and universities to participate in a $60 million project to build the country’s first quantum computer with 30 to 40 “qubits,” a unit used to encode information.
“We see the window of opportunity for international collaboration in this field getting narrower and narrower. For example, in the US, there are already certain quantum sensors that are export-controlled. It is not a defense thing, it is commercial. From China we see declarations that they will limit exports on quantum technology, which is pretty unique,” Dr. Tal David, Head of the Israel National Quantum Initiative (INQI) told The Algemeiner in an interview. “Even in the European Union, right now there is a strong movement to maintain European independence in technology. They are pushing to maintain only the members of the EU and kick out all the associated countries [like Israel].”
“We are fighting this very strongly. For us this is something which is very much unwanted because we have a lot of existing ties with Europe about this. Israel has a lot of excellence with Europe in general and quantum specifically, so this is something at the back of our heads that collaboration is getting more difficult in this field,” David added.