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IIT Madras bags ₹21 crore grant to accelerate research in quantum computing

IIT Madras bags ₹21 crore grant to accelerate research in quantum computing

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has received a grant of ₹21 crore to “accelerate fundamental and applied research” in quantum computing. The grant was announced as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IIT Madras and Mphasis, a Bengaluru-based IT solutions company. 

Under the MoU, IIT Madras will collaborate with Mphasis to set up a Quantum Lab to solve real-world business and societal problems. They will also focus on developing and attracting talent to quantum technologies, support students with scholarships, and assist startups working in the field. 

The institute will also create a hub for quantum technology to produce top-quality graduates. 

“This hub or quantum centre will also collaborate with global universities and disseminate its research findings through workshops, peer-reviewed papers, and conferences,” said Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations) at IIT Madras.

According to IIT Madras, over the next five years, the research will focus on the expanses of quantum optimisation, quantum finance, quantum chemistry, quantum communication, quantum error correction, and quantum tomography.  

“The research focus would be around the domains of information, communication, and computing. It will bring together faculty from different engineering and science disciplines and focus on enhancing industrial applications of quantum science and technologies,” said Ramanathan Srikumar, chief solutions officer at Mphasis.

Mphasis specialises in cloud and cognitive services. However, it has been talking about using quantum computers for machine learning, optimisation, and simulation problems. The company has said in the past that it sees quantum computing as playing a major role in solving the business problems of its customers. 

Last month, Mphasis announced a partnership with the Canada’s University of Calgary and the provincial government to set up a Quantum City Centre of Excellence, which will focus on developing talent and quantum technologies for commercial use. 

In February 2020, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government of India would provide ₹8,000 crore in funds over a period of five years for a national mission to boost domestic research in quantum computing.


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