Quantum computer
Quantum computerISTOCK

The Israel Innovation Authority has today announced the formation of the largest consortium in its history, with the aim of developing Israel’s quantum computing technologies with a budget of NIS 115 million.

The consortium will promote two quantum processor technologies – trapped ions and superconductors – which are among the most advanced and mature technologies today, alongside deep layers of quantum software. The key developments that will be prioritized include quantum processors, system-building blocks, coherent control tools, noise characterization and reduction software, and a fully automated software environment from the application level to physical implementation. The consortium will be guided by relevant applications and will work to prove performance and develop metrics for characterizing quantum computing systems.

The consortium’s products will include systemic technology demonstrations of quantum computing systems at the scale of dozens of Qubits which will help advance Israeli industries to the frontline of the scientific and technological advancements. As the technology matures, the Innovation Authority will incentivize making the technology accessible to the R&D industry in Israel with the help of the quantum computer laboratory that is currently being established.

Five Israeli companies are members of the consortium: IAI Group's Elta Systems division, Quantum Art, Classiq, Qedma, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In addition, technological development will be supported by leading academic entities in Israel: professors Nadav Katz, Alex Retzker, and Raam Uzdin of Hebrew University; professor Roee Ozeri of the Weizmann Institute; professor Michael Stern of Bar-Ilan University; professors Steven Frankel and Tal Mor of the Technion; and a research group led by Dr. Ohad Birk of Soroka Hospital.

The consortium's budget for three years is approximately NIS 115 million.

Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Innovation Authority: “The quantum computer will fundamentally change the world we live in, in a similar scale and perhaps with greater intensity than the changes that arose from the introduction of computers into our daily lives over the past fifty years. Quantum computers are of the utmost importance to the State of Israel's resilience and the ability of the Israeli economy to continue its' growth. In the initial stages, quantum computing will be applied to the challenges of huge databases that current computers take weeks or even years to calculate. As quantum computing develops, it will impact many areas of everyday life, such as personalized medicine and more. The consortium that was approved by the Innovation Authority, includes processors developed in Israel that use breakthrough scientific and technical knowledge and technologies. The structure of the Israeli quantum computer operations and command and control systems are also groundbreaking and unique on a global scale. The public, private and academic collaboration of this consortium will place Israel at the scientific and technological forefront of the world in quantum computing.

Dror Bin, CEO of the Innovation Authority: “Quantum computing features characteristics and phenomena from quantum physics that are leveraged to produce components, systems, capabilities and services, allowing highly complex calculations at scale even compared to existing supercomputers. The field is still in its infancy and on the path toward a significant breakthrough in commercialization. Its global market value is projected to reach tens of billions of dollars within the next decade.

“This is potentially the most disruptive technology today, with its impact expected to be felt in many sectors such as medicine and pharma, materials development, energy, transportation and logistics, security and more. It is our duty as a government to invest in this field to prepare the national infrastructure that will allow Israeli tech to continue being global leaders.”

The field of quantum computing is high risk but has the potential to place Israel at the forefront of global development of this technology, which will have applications in various sectors.

The approved consortium continues the work of the Innovation Authority in multiple programs and within the National Quantum Science and Technology Program (TELEM Forum) framework.

It promotes Israeli industry and academia, positions the country at the forefront of global technology and shortens the path to partnership in the competitive international commercial market.