Russia Launches Effort to Build Quantum Computer; Admits Being Late to the Race
Russia joins race to make quantum dreams a reality
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+ Russia has launched an effort to build a working quantum computer, in a bid to catch up to other countries in the race for practical quantum technologies.
“We’re 5 to 10 years behind,” says Fedorov. “But there’s a lot of potential here, and we follow very closely what’s happening abroad.” Poor funding has excluded Russian quantum scientists from competing with Google, says Ilya Besedin, an engineer at the National University of Science and Technology in Moscow.
+ The government will inject around 50 billion roubles (US$790 million) over the next 5 years into basic and applied quantum research carried out at leading Russian laboratories, the country’s deputy prime minister, Maxim Akimov, announced on 6 December at a technology forum in Sochi. The windfall is part of a 258-billion-rouble programme for research and development in digital technologies, which the Kremlin has deemed vital for modernizing and diversifying the Russian economy.
+ The initiative comes as quantum science in Russia begins to recover from the departure of top researchers during the 1990s and 2000s, who left in search of better salaries and funding opportunities. Several Russian quantum physicists working abroad — including Mikhail Lukin and Eugene Demler, both now at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts — are on the RQC’s international advisory board. Others, including Alexey Ustinov, a condensed matter physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, have received grants from the Russian government to set up research groups in Russia.
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