AWS, Harvard partner on quantum internet push

Business news |
By Rich Pell

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a research alliance with Harvard University to address the fundamental scientific challenges associated with building quantum networks. This new AWS research alliance, says the company, will further bolster scientific research and support education of a diverse group of quantum scientists and engineers by providing funding for advanced quantum networking research, engineering, and fabrication.

The recently announced AWS Center for Quantum Networking is located in the Boston area, allowing for cooperation between scientists at AWS and Harvard.

“That effort will focus on a more overlooked facet of quantum technology: networking and communication, aiming to connect quantum computers into a network, like the internet,” says the company. “Quantum networks could enable new technologies such as secure communication channels and powerful quantum computing clusters. With this new technology, there are both engineering and scientific challenges to be resolved on the way to building global quantum networks.”

The new strategic alliance provides significant funding for faculty-led research at Harvard and will build capacity for student recruitment, training, outreach, and workforce development in this key emerging technology field. The initiative focuses on driving rapid progress toward specific research aims in quantum networking at the Harvard Quantum Initiative (HQI).

Through the three-year research alliance, enabled by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, AWS will provide support of faculty-led and designed research projects at HQI in quantum memories, integrated photonics, and quantum materials. The principal goal of the research projects is to develop foundational methods and technologies for what eventually will become a quantum internet.

“By working together, academia and industry can accelerate discovery and technological progress,” says Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber. “Through this alliance with AWS, we will bring scientific scholarship and education to bear on some of the most exciting frontiers in quantum science. Together we will advance the goals of the Harvard Quantum Initiative, an interfaculty initiative that exemplifies the rewards of collaboration across different scientific domains.”

Antia Lamas-Linares, quantum networking lead at AWS adds, “Quantum networking is an emerging space with promise to help tackle challenges of growing importance to our world, such as secure communication and powerful quantum computing clusters. The collaborative initiative between AWS and Harvard will harness top research talent to explore quantum networking today and establish a framework to develop the quantum workforce of the future.”

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