Quantum Computing

“Nation State” Panel Discussion @ Quantum Australia Conference & Careers Fair 2023 Discusses Whether Australia Can Build a Successful Quantum Economy


Sydney Conference

That Quantum Australia conference and career fair 2023the three-day online and in-person event to be held from 21–23 February 2023 and organized to explore the theme ‘Building the foundations for the quantum economy’, kicked off this week at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park with a program that includes thought-provoking panels and presentations on developments and innovative collaborations that help realize the potential of quantum technology and advance talent pipelines in Australia and beyond.

Bringing together the world’s leading quantum researchers, businesses, government decision makers, startups and major tech to share developments and ideas, The Quantum Insider has the opportunity to attend the event virtually.

The first day started with “Welcome to Country and Official Opening” by Brian Boyle, Chair of the Sydney Quantum Academy and Bernie Hobbs, MC of the event, followed by a keynote by the Australian Chief Scientist, Dr. Cathy Foley.

The first panel discussion at the Quantum Conference in Australia, entitled “Nation States”, featured Bronwyn Fox, Chief Scientist, CSIRO; Anthony Murfett, Head of the National Security and Technology Division, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Kate Pounder, CEO of the Australian Technology Council; and Peter Turner, CEO of Sydney Quantum Academy. Emma Johnston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney, chaired the panel.

Building a Successful Quantum Economy

At the end of the discussion, the moderator posed an important question to the panel of experts as to whether Australia — one of the leaders in quantum technology on the planet, in both research and the private sector — could build a successful quantum economy, and if so, what would one key thing they would do? emphasize it as important to achieving that goal.

We can do it!

“Yes, we can do that,” said Anthony Murfett. “And the reason I think we can do it is because look at this crowd, we have 400, it’s bigger this year. It will be bigger next year. We have 22 companies that are already thinking about how quantum can contribute to the economy and get involved, but one thing I think we need to do is connect with the community, connect with teachers, connect with kids, and explain how they’re going to use quantum technology in future so they can see who they really are.”

Kate Pounder’s response is similar to Murfett’s, highlighting the ecosystem.


“Well, I also think we can do it. And I think the thing we need to improve the most is the ecosystem,” he began, citing the fact that no one felt the industry was as accessible as individuals. “And you know, there’s never one single ingredient that makes an ecosystem work. Often over time there are different problems that you solve.

He goes on to say that having a well-functioning ecosystem that can diagnose the most catalytic interventions at one point in time, then resolve them continuously over that time is important, though adding that expanding relationships, and networking and engaging with the real world is what matters. . key.

“Right now, at this point,” he continued, “I think funding will be key because we manufacture that pipeline and company because we have good research here, but from that research and development stage all the way to commercialization. That will be the challenge.”

Peter Turner echoed Murfett’s response, stating that Australia not only has potential, but is doing it as well as anyone on Earth.

Sydney Quantum Academy

“I think, from my point of view, certainly from an SQA, talent, and workforce standpoint — as Anthony alluded to — how do we actually go deeper into the starting line of a career to build this, you know, to address the shortfalls that overshadow this. the people who need to build this thing.”

Turner also found it important to mention that looking at a national model like the Sydney Quantum Academy would really address the bigger picture in Australia.

“The National quantum collaboration initiative was mentioned in the government budget recently. So I mean, yeah, going forward, let’s as a community get together and engage about how we can bring a model like this forward to address talent and workforce challenges.”

Bronwyn Fox, Chief Scientist at Australia’s national science agency, was the last to give her opinion, though as one would expect, her words aligned with those on the panel.

International Partnerships

“Of course, we can and I cannot emphasize enough the comments from Anthony, Kate and Peter on today’s panel. I just want to reiterate that a trusted international partnership for national benefit is going to be very important to us and understanding our place in the world and that investment and inspiring the next generation of science leaders and talent,” he said, before entering that CSIRO is actually recruiting.

“We have recruited more than 200 early- and mid-career researchers in the past year and we are now specifically looking for anyone interested in quantum technology to contact.”


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