The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is set to establish a Quantum Computing Applications Lab in India, in collaboration with AWS. This lab will accelerate quantum computing-led research and development in the country while enabling new scientific discoveries. AWS will provide the technical and programmatic support to the lab.
It is a first of its kind initiative in the world and aims to enable India’s talented researchers to explore the unchartered applications of quantum computing. It is also the world’s first quantum computing applications lab on AWS to support a national government’s mission to drive innovation.
Quantum computing has been widely gaining traction in the scientific community and India is not far behind when it comes to quantum technology-led developments. Apart from AI and machines learning-based applications, quantum computing has led to new breakthroughs in various domains such as chemical engineering, material science, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimisation and more.
The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab will provide quantum computing as a service to government ministries and departments, researchers, scientists, academia, and developers, to enable advances in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and aerospace engineering.
“India has a rich legacy in science, technology, and innovation. We believe that India’s path forward will be driven by achieving world-class scientific solutions. Enabling our scientific community with advanced technologies plays a key role in scientific advancements and learning,” said Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY in the official statement.
“Today, we are delighted to take another significant step in India’s science and technology journey with the establishment of the MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab with the support of AWS,” he added.
Abhishek Singh, President & CEO, National e-Governance Division (NeGD), MeitY believes that this initiative will augment India’s ongoing efforts in developing Quantum Computing Applications. “Quantum computing has the extraordinary potential to help countries leapfrog technology generations, achieve scientific leadership, and deliver answers to complex economic and social challenges,” he said.
“By supporting the MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab, we aim to make quantum computing available to more scientists, researchers, developers and organisations, enabling them to access and experiment with the technology, and explore the practical applications of quantum algorithms,” shared Max Peterson, Vice President, International Sales, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, Inc.
Accelerating Quantum Research
The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab will identify quantum computing problem statements for experimentation, from across government, institutions and academia. It will work with subject matter experts from the government sector to define the problem statements, and make them public, inviting applications from researchers, academia, and organisations to address them.
The Lab will then provide select applicants with access to quantum computing hardware, simulators, and programming tools, on-demand and at no cost, via Amazon Braket, that enables scientists and developers to build algorithms, conduct advanced simulations, and run experiments. Amazon Braket will enable users to explore and design quantum algorithms, test and troubleshoot them on simulated quantum computers, and run them on different quantum hardware technologies.
“Our collaboration with MeitY to establish the Quantum Computing Applications Lab will provide the breadth and depth of AWS services to the research, academic, and scientific community to overcome these challenges and focus on innovation,” said Rahul Sharma, President, Public Sector – AISPL, AWS India and South Asia.
MeitY believes that it will help government bodies and the scientific community to identify problems and opportunities, and test real-world challenges through experiments and prototypes in a low-risk environment. It will eventually help researchers evolve the problem statements, proofs-of-concept, and prototypes that will lead to the development of new applications, models, and frameworks in quantum computing.
In November 2020, AWS had announced the expansion of its services to include a second infrastructure region in India by mid-2022 in Hyderabad. AWS along with NITI Aayog had also announced the launch of a frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) in October 2020 to help address societal challenges through digital innovation, which is the first AWS CIC in India, the 12th around the world.