Building the first quantum computing applications lab in India
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India is establishing a Quantum Computing Applications Lab, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), to accelerate quantum computing-led research and development and enable new scientific discoveries. This is MeitY’s first initiative in the country to provide scientific, academic, and developer communities with access to a quantum computing development environment in the cloud. This is also the first quantum computing applications lab on AWS Cloud to support a government’s science and technology mission at a country level.
Quantum computing is an emerging field that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to build powerful tools to process information. It offers the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers, and leads to new breakthroughs that can transform chemical engineering, material science, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimization, machine learning, and more.
While there is a lot of innovation potential with quantum computing, scientists and researchers still face challenges in their quest for scientific discovery. Key among the challenges are limited access to quantum computing hardware and expertise, and the complexity involved in infrastructure setup and management. The new MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab addresses these challenges, providing quantum computing to the scientific, research, academic, and startup community through on-demand access to Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service, at no cost. Amazon Braket provides a development environment to enable users to explore and design quantum algorithms, test and troubleshoot them on simulated quantum computers, and run them on different quantum hardware technologies from providers including D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti. Using Amazon Braket, scientists and developers can build algorithms, conduct advanced simulations, and run experiments, and completely focus on innovation.
Announcing the initiative, Ajay Sawhney, secretary, MeitY, said that empowering the scientific community in India with advanced technologies will play a crucial role in enabling India to achieve world-class scientific solutions. He added that the MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab, established with support from AWS, is a significant step in India’s science and technology journey.
Starting operations in March 2021, the lab will empower advances in manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, aerospace engineering, and more to help bolster the economy. In addition to providing access to Amazon Braket, AWS will provide technical and programmatic support for new quantum computing workloads.
Max Peterson, vice president, international sales, worldwide public sector, AWS, congratulated MeitY for its visionary leadership to empower the scientific community in India. He added that AWS is excited to support MeitY in setting up the Quantum Computing Applications Lab, and enable more scientists and developers to access quantum computing, and explore the practical applications of quantum algorithms.
The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab will identify quantum computing problem statements for experimentation from among central and state governments, research institutions, and academia in India. It will work with subject matter experts from the government sector to define the problem statements, and make them public, inviting applications from researchers, academia, and organizations to address them. The lab will then provide select applicants with access to quantum computing hardware, simulators, and programming tools, on-demand and at no cost, via Amazon Braket.
Using the services from the MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab, government bodies and the scientific community can identify problems and opportunities rapidly, and test real-world challenges through experiments and prototypes in a low-risk environment. Outcomes from these experiments will help researchers evolve the problem statements, proof-of-concepts, and prototypes that can help lead to the development of new applications, models, and frameworks in quantum computing.