“Both countries are seeking academic and industrial partners who can help develop quantum science and technology for the benefit of humanity in particular and the planet in general. We are committed to achieving global excellence in this field to get the best possible technologies in the shortest possible time,” Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, S. Chandrasekhar, said Wednesday during a panel discussion at the DST headquarters in New Delhi.
The meeting was held a day after the signing of the joint declaration for the establishment of the Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Center on Quantum Computing in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Dr Jitendra Singh, and the Finnish Minister for Economic Affairs, Mika. Lintille.
Stressing the need to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the two countries in this area, Chandrasekhar said the two countries should work together on a plan to overcome the weaknesses by establishing a core group that will drive the initiative.
Petri Peltonen, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland, highlighted the need to join the best of Finland with the best of India, to use science ecosystems and strong communities information systems of the two countries and to strengthen them in a way that can facilitate the spin-offs.
“Our goal is a product and research-driven collaboration that can work towards supercomputing devices, sensors, communication technologies, space technologies and many more,” said KR Murali Mohan, Advisor, DST, while highlighting the potential for collaborations across the national mission. for interdisciplinary cyber-physical systems and through the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) program.
Finnish knowledge expert in India, Mika Tirronen, spoke about the strength of Finland’s quantum computing infrastructure, its heritage, public funding, innovation-driven industry, strong quantum ecosystem as well than the Nordic spirit of perseverance.
National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA)
The government, in its 2020 budget, announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA) with a total budgetary expenditure of Rs 8,000 crore for a period of five years to be implemented by the DST.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2020 Union Budget Speech said that the new economy is based on innovations that disrupt established business models. Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, drones, DNA data storage, quantum computing, etc. rewrite the global economic order.
“Quantum technology opens new frontiers in computing, communications and cybersecurity with widespread applications. It is expected that many commercial applications will emerge from the theoretical constructs that develop in this field. It is proposed to provide an expenditure of Rs 8,000 crore over a period of five years for the Mission,” she said on the occasion.
Quantum technologies are rapidly expanding globally with enormous potential for disruption. Transformative next-generation technologies that will receive a boost in this mission include Quantum Computers and Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Key Distribution, Encryption, Cryptanalysis, Quantum Devices, Quantum Sensing , quantum materials, quantum clock, etc.
The mission’s focus areas will be basic science, translation, technology development, generation of human and infrastructural resources, innovation and start-ups to solve problems concerning national priorities, they said.