Will there be enough quantum engineers in APAC?

The National University of Singapore and AWS are collaborating to boost the development of quantum computing and communication technologies (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)

With the rise of quantum computing in the Asia-Pacific region, quantum engineers are now in high demand among companies looking to take advantage of the technology. From Japan which launched its most powerful quantum computer last month to China which is developing its quantum computers, quantum engineers are a key ingredient in the quantum computing workforce.

Compared to other analytical tools, quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of normal computers. Exploiting the laws of quantum mechanics, developing quantum algorithms, and designing useful quantum applications require skills and approaches.

The quantum computing market is expected to reach $ 1.76 billion by 2026, with early adoption in the banking and financial industry expected to fuel the market growth on a global scale. QuantumComputing-as-a-Service (QcaaS) is now also offered by some tech giants to companies that want to experiment with this technology.

As such, most quantum computing use cases are still small but growing globally. To ensure the further development of the technology, major technology providers are working with universities to develop next-generation quantum engineers in the hope that they will have enough talent available once the technology becomes mainstream.

Developing the quantum computing workforce

Japan’s most powerful quantum computer with IBM is used specifically for research and development, while China’s own quantum computing supercomputer can solve problems faster than some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

In South East Asia, the lack of skills remains a major concern. Although the region has one of the fastest technology adoptions in the world, the skills shortage still prevents most companies from pushing hard in their digital transformation.

An Amazon Web Services (AWS) report released earlier this year said between 666 million and 819 million workers in the Asia-Pacific region will use digital skills by 2025, up from just 149 million today, the average employee needing seven new digital skills to meet growing industry demands.

Despite this, quantum computing is gaining ground in the region. Higher education institutions in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia are offering more courses on the subject and hope to develop more quantum engineers in the near future.

Collaborate for better skills development

The National University of Singapore and AWS are collaborating to stimulate the development of quantum computing and communication technologies, as well as to explore the potential applications of quantum capabilities.

As part of the Quantum Engineering Program (QEP), AWS will support QEP in the development of research and projects in quantum computing and will connect to the National Quantum-Safe Network for quantum communications. The two areas include identifying use cases and developing applications to support the future commercialization of quantum computing and communications technologies designed in Singapore.

quantum engineering

(Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

QEP has supported eight major research projects to advance the development of quantum technologies. They include exploring more powerful hardware and software solutions for quantum computers for business tasks such as optimizing freight delivery routes, simulating chemicals to help design drugs, or more efficient manufacturing.

According to Professor Chen Tsuhan, Vice President of NUS (Research and Technology), Singapore’s journey to become a knowledge-based economy requires the right combination of world-class talent, cutting-edge infrastructure and an ecosystem. well-established knowledge transfer.

“One of the cornerstones of this vision is the QEP hosted at NUS, which brings together expertise in quantum science and engineering and aims to translate radical innovations into commercial sand solutions. This collaboration between QEP and AWS is a crucial catalyst for the country’s complete digital transformation and opens the door to a quantum future.

Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service, provides access to three types of quantum hardware, including quantum ringers and gate-based systems built on superconducting qubits and trapped ions, as well as tools to run hybrid quantum and classical algorithms.

Its cross-platform development tools deliver a consistent experience, reduce the need for multiple development environments, and make it easy to explore which quantum computing technology is best suited for an application.

With NUS seeking to develop more use cases and skilled professionals in quantum engineering and other tech-related fields, Singapore may become a hub for quantum computing in the region in the years to come.

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