Sydney quantum software startup Q-CTRL has partnered with Quad Investors Network (QUIN) to deliver quantum technology training in Australia and the US.
Q-CTRL founder and CEO Professor Michael J Biercuk is currently in the US, and met with ambassador and former prime minister Kevin Rudd as the current PM, Anthony Albanese, visits the White House and meets with US president Joe Biden.
The deal will see fully-subsidised licenses for Q-CTRL’s Black Opal quantum educational technology software provided to students at TAFE in Australia and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the US. The rollout kicks off next year, with plans to expand and grow it across the other Quad countries in collaboration with partners there. The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will facilitate access to Q-CTRL’s Black Opal to its member institutions.
Existing initiatives have primarily targeted PhD students, so this is the first time the Black Opal program specifically focused on enabling post-secondary students from non-quantum backgrounds to enter the sector.
Prof Biercuk said this shift in workforce development represents a strategic, long-term investment in a sector set to transform everything from finance to pharmaceuticals through to defense and cybersecurity.
“We know that we need employees with backgrounds from machining and coding through to business and politics to support the growth of the quantum sector,” he said.
“As a flexible tool crafted specifically for learners seeking to enter the field from adjacent areas, we’re excited to help remove barriers from the realization of a truly diverse quantum workforce through broadened access to Black Opal.”
QUIN Chairman Karl Metha said the concept reflects the shared priority of Quad partners to both build a skilled workforce and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in quantum tech.
“Inclusive workforce development in Quantum Technologies provides great access to the next generation of workforce,” he said.
“Q-CTRL’s Black Opal quantum educational technology tool is a great example of how the quantum technology industry and the Quad Investor Network are committed to building the workforce of the future.”
Australian Chief Scientist Cathy Foley said the partnership is a great example of leadership from the private sector.
“Improving quantum literacy and investment will ensure we accelerate quantum technologies and make the most of this new era,” she said.
“This is just what the Quad Investor Network was designed to do.”
Last month Q-CTRL was named Australia’s Most Innovative Startup in the Startup Daily Best in Tech awards.