Husic tells quantum startups: ‘We will make the world take notice of your work’

February 22, 2024

Diraq sets sights on world’s first fault-tolerant quantum computer

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Science and innovation minister Ed Husic has told Australian quantum startups like Diraq, Q-CTRL, Silicon Quantum Computing, Quintessence Labs and Quantum Brilliance that he’s determined to make the world take notice of their work.

“And we will make sure through either the quantum strategy or the work that we are doing to put the investment funds around to make it easier for you to get the capital to grow,” Husic said.

The minister was speaking at the opening of Diraq’s new laboratory at the University of NSW, where Diraq founder Professor Andrew Dzurak said the company was on track to build the world’s first fault-tolerant quantum computer in four year’s time.

Diraq recently raised an additional US$15 million in Series A-2 capital which will be used to expand its team in Australia and to launch in the US.

Husic praised the company for the raising amid a difficult venture capital environment.

“We’ve gotta make it easier,” Husic said. “We want to see more of these firms grow.”

UNSW Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs said: “Although Diraq may be a spin-out company of less than two years old, they’ve been on an incredible journey for more than two decades.”

“The quantum.technology that is Diraq’s core, known as electron spin for CMOS quantum dots, was invented right here at campus. And so this incredible company that Andrew founded leverages over 20 years of engineering and research expertise,” Brungs said.

Chief Scientist Cathy Foley also praised Diraq’s success, reinforcing the role of decades of investment in fundamental science.

“The other thing which I think has been really wonderful to see is Andrew transitioning from being in an amazing university with the whole infrastructure, both state and Commonwealth funding, and then turning that into something where there’s a realisation of the commercial world,” Foley said.

“Actually jumping off the cliff and saying ‘this is something where I believe in what I’ve got. I’m going to attract investors, I’m going to partner globally, and I’m going to be successfully transitioning into a founder of a business’.”

“10 years ago that would not have happened in Australia, but it is happening now,” Foley said.
The federal government’s National Quantum Strategy sets out an ambition to cement Australia as the world’s top destination for quantum talent, but many companies in the sector have found it difficult to recruit locally.

Written by Charis Palmer, Managing Editor, Refraction Media

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