Trinity College Dublin has joined forces with Microsoft Ireland to accelerate the development of next-generation quantum technologies and support future leaders in the field.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide funding to support quantum research PhD students in Trinity College, while also establishing a female scholarship programme for the college’s MSc in Quantum Science and Technology.
The collaboration will support quantum research teams in Trinity’s School of Physics and foster links with research teams in the private sector.
"Having emerged from fundamental science over the last two decades, quantum research is now blossoming and promises to revolutionise technology in the coming years with discoveries and innovations that promise to power a more sustainable, advanced future," said Prof John Goold, who is directing the new MSc in Quantum Science and Technology course.
Microsoft recently announced a full-stack, open-cloud quantum computing ecosystem, named Azure Quantum. Quantum computers can solve in a matter of seconds problems that would take the fastest computers today thousands of years to solve, presenting the opportunity to address climate change, significant pharmaceutical advancements, and so on.
"Quantum computing presents unprecedented possibilities to solve society's most complex challenges and help to secure a sustainable future. At Microsoft, we're committed to responsibly turning these possibilities into reality for the betterment of humanity and the planet," Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said.
“The introduction of the female scholarship programme is a welcome one and I believe more focused mechanisms such as this will help us to attract more females not only into the area of next-generation quantum technologies but also wider STEM related industries.”
Prof Goold also praised support for the female-only scholarship programme.
“As diversity has grown in my research team at Trinity, we have been more creative in pursuing and delivering high-quality science. Female uptake in certain STEM subjects remains low but initiatives like this are helping to drive positive change” he said.
The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris welcomed the collaboration. "I am delighted to see this strong collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and Microsoft. Quantum computing technology will be instrumental in solving some of society's biggest challenges and seeing Ireland at the forefront of this research is tremendously important," he said.