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12 December 2023 News Release

Australian quantum students will participate in four cutting-edge research projects as part of the Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program, administered by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. 

These projects could help us understand the sub-atomic make up of life, as well as develop an understanding of algorithms and software on a future quantum internet.  

An international panel of experts selected the four successful projects the PhD students will work on, running out of 11 Australian universities. The $3.6 million program aims to solve real industry challenges, while helping grow Australia’s emerging quantum skills and capacity.  

CSIRO’s Data61 Science Director Dr Aaron Quigley said these grants would help Australian scientists remain at the forefront of quantum technology.  

“These projects represent some of Australia’s most ambitious work in quantum for the next generation” Dr Quigley said.  

“The research has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of not just computing but the world around us. Working alongside industry, these students will be able to take their ideas to impact the lives of people everywhere.  

“This pipeline of homegrown talent will help accelerate our thriving local quantum technology industry, right here in Australia. This is a key time for quantum technology globally, and projects like these further demonstrate Australia’s leadership.” 

Far from the stuff of Hollywood, quantum tech is rapidly becoming a reality, with Australian scientists taking a leading role globally.

Quantum technologies can harness the power of sub-atomic particles to store and process information but go beyond just quantum computation to sensing, communications and developing quantum resistant cryptography.  

Quantum computers have the potential to one day solve complex problems far beyond what traditional computers could attempt.  

Deakin University’s Distributed Quantum Computing program aims to develop algorithms and software to utilise the power of multiple quantum computers networked together. This area of research could lead to advancements in an eventual quantum internet.  

ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biology’s (QUBIC) research into the subatomic building blocks of life has the potential to span agriculture, energy, health, and manufacturing. QUBIC is a world-leader in quantum biotech and will observe biological processes through quantum technology. 

CSIRO Chief Scientist Professor Bronwyn Fox said these graduates would help build this exciting emerging industry.  

“Quantum is one of Australia’s most promising growth opportunities - a chance to create new markets, new applications, new opportunities and new jobs for our country. It’s an incredible opportunity, but far from guaranteed, and that’s why the Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program is so critically important,” Professor Fox said.  

“We need to be attracting, training and retaining Australia's next generation of quantum technology specialists. We need to be creating a steady pipeline of talent and exposing them to collaborative research projects across the eco-system, including placements with partners that build career-ready skills. And we need to be developing their capabilities and connections through professional development in complementary, including business, management, entrepreneurship, ethics or human-centred design.

"The Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program does all of that.” 

The Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program leverages existing university resources, activities, and networks to assemble cohorts of students to work directly on research projects that are informed by real-world challenges brought forward by industry partners. 

Australia has been a leader in quantum technology research and development for almost 30 years and these 16 PhD scholarships will help train the next generation of quantum graduates with new skills to expand the talent pipeline to advance Australia’s quantum industry.  

The Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program (NGQGP) is an Australian Government supported program set to fund nationally competitive scholarships to attract and train Australia's next generation of quantum technology specialists. 

Successful projects include:  

  • Quantum Biotechnology, ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology 
    • The ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology aims to pioneer paradigm-shifting quantum technologies allowing researchers to observe biological processes and transform our understanding of life at a subatomic level. 
  • Distributed Quantum Computing: Algorithms and Software, Deakin University
    • Quantum computing requires a new understanding of how computers talk to each other. This includes understanding quantum networking and developing a quantum internet. Deakin University and Cisco Quantum Lab’s program investigates algorithms and software (including architecture and systems) for distributed quantum computing working on the next generation of networking based on quantum engineering.
  • Creating the Future Leaders in Quantum Technology, Sydney Quantum Academy
    • Sydney Quantum Academy will fund the future pipeline of Australia’s quantum leaders. The program will provide the framework to develop projects to advance the quantum industry, from hardware and software to responsible innovation. 
  • Developing an integrated, miniaturised experiment platform for cold atom quantum technologies, Swinburne University of Technology
    • Utilising promising cold atom technology and 3D printing, Swinburne University of Technology and Infleqtion Australia’s program aim to develop integrated, miniaturised experiment platforms to advance quantum technology. This aims to solve challenges making cold atom experimental platforms portable for real-world applications.

Find out more about the Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program.


Sydney Quantum Academy scholarship student from Macquarie University Raji Nair will be joined by new quantum PhD students. ©  Sydney Quantum Academy
Sydney Quantum Academy student like Raji Nair will be among those working on the future of quantum technologies. ©  Sydney Quantum Academy

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