University of NSW quantum computing startup Diraq has won the lion’s share of a one-off NSW government $7 million quantum commercialisation fund, pocketing $3 million, alongside $2.34m for Professor Michael Biercuk’s Q-CTRL and $1.44m for Quantum Brilliance.
The former Coalition government announced NSW Quantum Computing Commercialisation Fund (QCCF) late last year, with applications closing before voters went to the polls and elected Labor in March.
The program, offering grants of between $200,000 and $4 million, is administered by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer within Investment NSW.
Diraq is a world leader in building quantum processors using silicon ‘quantum dot’ technology, leveraging engineering and research expertise at UNSW.
CEO and founder Professor Andrew Dzurak said their goal is to revolutionise full-stack quantum computing by driving qubit numbers on a single chip to the billions needed for useful commercial applications. Thee $3 million grant will propel their research and development, which includes 10 patents towards, deliver their first product – a 10-qubit silicon quantum processor.
“This substantial financial support reinforces the confidence and trust the State Government has in our vision and capabilities,” Dzurak said.
“It will be instrumental in driving our quantum computing initiatives and accelerating the pace of innovation within our industry.
“Overall the project will contribute to the advancement of quantum technologies in the state, further establishing Sydney as a global hub for quantum computing.”
For Q-CTRL, which landed a Defence deal to build quantum sensors for navigation earlier this month, the $2.342 million arrives in the same week founder Prof Michael Biercuk announced the milestone of 100 employees.
“I founded Q-CTRL nearly six years ago with an ambition to make quantum technology useful through our specialised expertise in quantum control engineering,” he said.
“We began with a focus on developing a new generation of scientific software powered by our unique insights. And over the years we’ve grown our work to include a professional engineering team, the world’s largest team of PhD-level experts in quantum control, an exceptional quantum sensing R&D team, and likely the best single product team in the quantum industry. And recently we’ve expanded to include team members focused on operations, marketing, and sales.”
It’s not the only money pouring into quantum with Q-CTRL raising $39 million in venture funding earlier this year, in a Series B top up led by Salesforce.
Around the same time, ACT-based Quantum Brilliance, which received $1.445 from the NSW government quantum grant scheme and is building room temperature quantum computers, powered by diamonds, raised $26 million to expand international operations and improve its manufacturing and fabrication techniques.