HTXT.AFRICA

WitsQ launched as a forum for quantum scientists to connect

In recent years we have been following the efforts of Wits University as far as quantum computing is involved, with the most notable aspect being a partnership with IBM, which too is pioneering the field of quantum computing. The latest development for the tertiary institution is the launch of the Wits Quantum Initiative, also known as WitsQ.

WitsQ will serve as a strategic initiative by the University to be a driver of quantum technologies, it explained in a blog post, making it one of the leading quantum institutes on the continent. The launch of the new website will also serve as the first step in creating a forum for quantum scientists in all fields to connect.

“Led by Professor Andrew Forbes, from the Wits School of Physics, as Director, WitsQ’s vision is to strategically promote and advance Quantum Technology at Wits, with a focus on the research, innovation, business, education and outreach, and ethics of quantum technologies,” the blog post explains.

“The Initiative will grow a vibrant and productive quantum community at Wits, engage with relevant national and international entities across sectors, and provide a forum for experts and non-experts to interact,” adds Forbes.

An additional aim for this forum and focus on quantum computing is to help the country and continent surpass some of its peers in terms of introducing and embracing innovative technologies, according to the professor.

“South Africa and Africa have missed the rise of the electronic industry. Our focus on Quantum technology gives us the opportunity to leapfrog into the Quantum world and be a major player in the field,” he says.

“By harnessing the quantum world, we open an exciting future that is developing before our eyes: seeing smaller, better and with less light for enhanced medical imaging (quantum ghost imaging), networks that are fundamentally secure and unbreakable taking cybersecurity beyond its man-made limitations (quantum secure communication) and exponentially faster computers (quantum computing) to solve assumed “unsolvable” problems, from finance to drug design,” concludes Forbes.

It will indeed be interesting to see what the launch of the Wits Quantum Initiative will yield moving forward and whether the institution can indeed become a proving ground for innovation in this field.

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