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Minister Simon Harris launches Ireland’s first Quantum Computer Engineering Centre at Tyndall

Posted on: 14 May 2021

Minister Simon Harris launches Ireland’s first Quantum Computer Engineering Centre at Tyndall

The multi-million-euro investment will see an additional 900 sq metres of research space and 45 new jobs dedicated to quantum research at Tyndall National Institute

“The next great leap in technology is Quantum Computing. We are not on the cusp, but already in the process of the Quantum Revolution.”

William Scanlon, CEO Tyndall National Institute

The multi-million-euro investment will see 900 sq meters of research space dedicated to quantum technology at Tyndall’s new facility on Cork’s North Mall and will be a key part of the Institute’s plans to double in size and impact by 2025. Tyndall is also recruiting 5 new senior research leaders, including a Head of Quantum Research to lead the overall Centre and who will build new quantum research teams to accelerate the growth of the centre. Overall, this new investment will result in an additional 45 quantum research jobs giving a further boost to Tyndall’s quantum ecosystem that already counts the highest concentration of researchers in Ireland.

The announcement was made at an official launch event yesterday afternoon (13 May), which saw world leading experts speak to Irish researchers, policy makers and industry leaders on the ‘Quantum Revolution’ and the scale of opportunity for Ireland in this emerging multi-billion-euro market.

Commenting on the launch of Tyndall’s Quantum Computer Engineering Centre, Minister Harris said:

Tyndall is one of Europe’s leading institutes in ‘deep-tech’, and we have seen how the application of advanced technology has had a profound effect on the lives of citizens, as well as industry, through smart medical devices, high-speed telecommunications, robotics and automation, and the microelectronic chips that enable all of ICT. Tyndall is also a leader in industry-academia collaboration. I am therefore delighted to announce that they have established Ireland’s first dedicated Quantum Computer Engineering Centre (QCEC), which will ultimately lead to the creation and retention of high-quality sustainable ICT jobs. Tyndall QCEC will not only focus on the realisation of quantum technology in Ireland, but it will also upskill Irish researchers in the area of Quantum and will support open innovation and collaboration between academia and industry. This will transform our high-tech economy and secure Ireland’s future as a worldwide technology leader, whilst supporting key Irish technology companies and SMEs.”

Dr Agnieszka Gocalinska, Researcher, Tyndall


Professor William Scanlon CEO of Tyndall National Institute, said, “Tyndall never stops looking ahead. Our pioneering embrace of next generation technology has already profoundly impacted the semiconductor industry, high-speed optical communications networks, medical devices and many other areas based on nanotechnology, microelectronics and photonics research.

The next great leap in technology is Quantum Computing, which will have a huge impact on the future of the ICT industry and across many application areas. We are not on the cusp, but already in the process of the Quantum Revolution. Functioning Quantum Computers exist today, and around the world, academia, governments and industry are investing significantly in trying to develop more robust and scalable methods of realising the technology, so that it eventually surpasses today’s classical computers and will be accessible and impactful for the many and not just the few.

Tyndall, and Ireland, has an opportunity to play a pivotal part in moving quantum science from theory to practice, particularly in developing innovative ways to make the technology more powerful, and scalable through integration of quantum devices, hardware and software. Many organisations worldwide are working on quantum computing behind closed doors, but we are a country that has an open innovation ecosystem at its heart. In addition, most of the major tech companies and ICT innovators are based here, and we are experienced at bringing new technologies to market. We therefore have the people, the technology enablers and the industry partners to spearhead Ireland’s place in delivering the impact of the Quantum Revolution.”

Tyndall has been at the forefront of quantum technology research in Ireland for 10 years and is already pioneering Irish efforts in engineering next generation quantum technology using deep-tech photonics and nano-electronics, working on a number of ambitious projects with industry partners. Tyndall is also a partner in several European projects on quantum engineering, including the realisation of single-photon sources at telecommunication wavelengths, the development of cryogenic electronics for scalable quantum computing technologies, and the offering of research infrastructure to enable research on materials and nanostructures for quantum computing and sensing.

“Today we are developing the theories and computational models of tomorrow, producing the materials, engineering the devices, and building applications to enable our quantum future,” said Professor Scanlon.

Our aim is to accelerate the development of quantum research in Ireland, connecting the theory to engineering and industry, to help address the world’s major societal challenges such as food security, energy, and climate change. Quantum computer engineering has the power to make a difference, as their dramatically enhanced computational power will help us to solve problems that are too complex for today’s computers. The potential for this technology is phenomenal to the point of almost being unimaginable. Areas such as medical research, secure digital communication, crop engineering, manufacturing, astrophysics, economics and weather forecasting, among others, could be revolutionised by utilising this power,” continued Professor Scanlon.

 

 

 

Dr Felipe Murphy-Armando, Senior Researcher, Tyndall 

Quantum requires new types of hardware, software and communication technologies, using an entirely different logic to conventional computers utilising Boolean algebra, the building blocks of computer technology developed by the first professor of mathematics at UCC. Tyndall’s core research work to date has been in Quantum Cryptography for secure communications and sources of quantum light for quantum information (quantum internet and quantum computation).

Announcing Tyndall’s quantum research programme and vision for delivering innovations in Quantum Computer Engineering for Ireland, Giorgos Fagas, Head of EU Programmes at Tyndall and interim head of Tyndall QCEC, said, “With Brexit, Ireland has an even greater opportunity to become a leading open innovation hub for Quantum research. Ireland can build on existing successes in information and communication technologies to lead in the realisation and exploitation of quantum technologies. We can ensure that Ireland is quantum technology ready by facilitating the current and future workforce to develop the skills to deliver innovations in Quantum Technologies and exploit the new opportunities arising from the disruptive transformation enabled by quantum computing.This allows Ireland to develop a competitive edge in the global quantum market, which could attract other technology companies to partner with us and/or locate in Ireland, which will deliver huge societal and economic benefits”.

One of the keynote speakers at the event, Professor Dominic O’Brien, Director of the UK’s Quantum Computing & Simulation Hub, said it is critical that Ireland actively participates in the quantum revolution. Meanwhile, industry leaders including Dr James Clarke, Director of Quantum Hardware at Intel Corporation, and Dr Ruoyi Zhou, Director of IBM Research, Ireland, spoke about the immense opportunities for Ireland, their companies’ ambition for Quantum, and the urgent importance of establishing a national ecosystem and programme for Quantum Computer Engineering in Ireland, as well as EU and global co-operation.

Attendees at the launch also heard from Professor J.C. Seamus Davis from University College Cork and Oxford University, who leads a pioneering Irish-UK Quantum Research programme, and from Professor Tommaso Calarco, Chair, European Quantum Community Network on the importance of Quantum for Europe and the practical realisation of Quantum technologies.

Other contributors included the IDA, mBryonics, MIDAS the Industry Association for Microelectronics and Electronic Systems Design in Ireland, SFI, ICHEC the Irish Centre for High-End Computing, and Analog Devices Ireland.

For more see quantum.