Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has become the first Indian institution to join the ‘IBM Quantum Network’ to advance quantum computing — a technology that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for classical computers.

IIT Madras joins over 180 members of the IBM Quantum Network, a global community of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academic institutions, and research labs working with IBM Quantum technology to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications.

The IBM Quantum team and its global ecosystem of network organisations are researching and exploring how quantum computing will help a variety of industries and disciplines, including finance, energy, chemistry, materials science, optimisation, and machine learning.

As a member of the Network, IIT Madras will get cloud-based access to IBM’s most advanced quantum computing systems and IBM’s quantum expertise to explore practical applications and realise the wide-ranging benefits of this technology for business and society.

IIT Madras’ Centre for Quantum Information, Communication and Computing (CQuICC) will focus on advancing core algorithms in research areas like Quantum Machine Learning, Quantum Optimisation, and applications research in finance.

Qiskit framework

They will use IBM Quantum services alongside the open-source Qiskit framework to explore areas such as quantum algorithms, quantum machine learning, quantum error correction and error mitigation, quantum tomography, and quantum chemistry and to advance and grow the quantum computing ecosystem in the country. Researchers from IIT Madras will lead advancement of research in the application of quantum computing with support from IBM Research India to such domains that are relevant to India, says a press release.

In August last year, IBM Quantum and IIT Madras also jointly offered a course on quantum computing on the NPTEL Platform to over 10,000 participants.

V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We are very excited to partner with IBM in the Quantum Science and Engineering area. We have already launched a course on Quantum Technologies under NPTEL co-taught by our faculty and professionals of IBM. We intend to continue this relationship to greater heights and aim at setting up an IITM-IBM Quantum Innovation hub at IIT Madras.”

Accelerate research

“This collaboration with the IBM Quantum Network marks an exciting new phase for our Center. It builds on our successful collaboration on quantum computing education last year, and promises to open up new avenues and directions for research and innovation,” said Anil Prabhakar, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras.

The collaboration will open new avenues to work with industry partners to accelerate research, make quantum real and create a vibrant quantum ecosystem in India. We believe the joint work will contribute towards India’s National Mission on Quantum technologies and applications to grow and prepare India for the future, further advancing India as one of the global powerhouses in computing,” said Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India.