Telstra, CBA join Turnbull's quantum computing push

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Telstra, CBA join Turnbull's quantum computing push
Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn.

Additional $20 million in pledges over five years.

Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank have each pledged $10 million in cash and in-kind support over the next five years for research into the development of silicon quantum computing technology in Australia.

The funds will go to the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology (CQC2T), which is headquartered at the University of New South Wales.

It comes just a day after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced an additional $26 million over five years for CQC2T as part of the federal government’s innovation plan.

The funds will go towards the development of a silicon quantum integrated circuit, as part of a broader bid by researchers to build the world’s first silicon-based quantum computer.

CQC2T aims to combine the quantum computing and quantum communications efforts of six Australian universities across 17 coordinated programs.

The centre includes researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, Griffith University, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.

For the Commonwealth Bank, the latest pledge comes on top of an initial investment of $5 million it announced in December 2014.

“Our investment has a long-term focus and is an example of potential collaboration and commercialisation,” Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev said in a statement.

“It enables us to support innovation in Australia as well as aligning ourselves with innovation that we believe will materially benefit our customers and shareholders over the next decade.”

For Telstra, the pledge also includes resources from its internal data science team, such as the services of its chief scientist, Hugh Bradlow.

“Telstra is ready and willing to play a role in building for the future. We must come together to plan for future generations through technological advancements. This partnership is a solid demonstration of this commitment,” Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said in a statement.

Both companies warn the pledges are subject to the finalisation of commercial details, including the establishment of a corporate structures to oversee the research.

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