(Cision) Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is almost doubling the annual budget of the research initiative Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, based at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. This will allow the centre to shift up a gear and set even higher goals – especially in its development of a quantum computer. Two international workshops will kick-start this new phase.
”Quantum technology has enormous potential and it is important that Sweden has the necessary skills in the area. During the short time since the center was founded, WACQT has built up a qualified research environment, established collaborations with Swedish industry and succeeded in developing qubits with proven problem-solving ability. We can look ahead with great confidence at what they will go on to achieve,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
Since 2018, Chalmers University of Technology has been managing a large, forward-thinking research initiative – the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT) – setting Sweden on course to global prominence in quantum technology. The main project is to develop and build a quantum computer, offering far greater computing power than today’s best supercomputers.
During the first three years, the quantum computer researchers within WACQT have focused first on making the basic building blocks of the quantum computer – the qubits – work as well as possible, at small scale. A milestone was reached in 2020, when they managed to solve a small part of a real-world optimisation problem with their well-functioning two-qubit quantum computer.
Now comes the time to significantly scale up the number of qubits, and increase the efforts on developing software and algorithms. At the same time, the entire research initiative is being scaled up, with Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) deciding to almost double WACQT’s annual budget, from SEK 45 to 80 million per year for the coming four years. The investment has previously also been extended from its original ten years to twelve, and has now a total funding of at least SEK 1.3 billion including contributions from industry and the participating universities.
“It is very encouraging that KAW shows such great confidence in us. It strengthens WACQT’s research programme and gives us the opportunity to build an even better quantum computer. In terms of the number of qubits, the goal is still one hundred, but now we are aiming at one hundred really high-performance qubits,” says Per Delsing, director of WACQT and Professor at Chalmers.
Calculations have shown that the performance of the final quantum computer will benefit more from increasing the quality of the individual qubits, rather than the total number of qubits. The better their quality , the more useful the final quantum computer.