CommBank Has Thrown $5 Million At Researchers To Build A Super Computer

CBA CIO David Whiteing.

The Commonwealth Bank has invested $5 million in funding over five years to help Australian-based researchers build a super computer.

Researchers at the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, based at UNSW, are working on developing a silicon based quantum computer.

The bank’s new CIO David Whiteing said the speed of the computer could transform global business.

“The speed of quantum computing means it promises to solve real world issues such as searching large databases, solving complicated sets of equations, and modelling atomic systems such as biological molecules and drugs. This means they’ll be enormously useful for healthcare industries, government, finance industries and security,” Whiteing said.

“Commonwealth Bank has a long history supporting Australian people and communities, and a silicon based quantum computer which brings a wealth of benefits to Australians and the world aligns tightly to our vision.

“The centre is at the forefront of a global scientific race to build the first silicon based quantum computer. This race is akin to the space race half a century ago where countries wanted to be the first to fly to the moon – and in this modern race we want Australia to get there first.”

The funding will assist two three-year projects led by UNSW Scientia Professor and Laureate Fellow Michelle Simmons.

The first project aims to demonstrate the technology is scalable, the second is to figure out how quantum information can be reliable transported within a computer. It’s a highly technical field.

“Australia is a powerhouse in quantum information research. Under the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence scheme we have built a global leadership position in quantum computing and demonstrated our ability to engineer and control information on individual atoms. We are delighted to be working with Australia’s visionary bank,” Simmons said.

Since taking on the top tech job at CommBank in August, Whiteing has been working on standardising the organisation’s back end processes as well as opening up its APIs to developers to ensure the bank can compete in an increasingly tech driven environment.

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