Growing quantum engineering capabilities

Prof Thong (right) and Dr Kwek are Co-Directors of the new programme

NUS will take the lead in efforts to translate quantum science and technologies into industry-ready engineering devices and capabilities under the new Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) launched by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF). The programme, which will see NRF invest $25 million over five years, was announced by Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on 17 September during the opening ceremony of the annual Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (SWITCH).

The QEP will connect researchers in quantum science, photonics devices and system engineering with industry partners and local start-ups to grow engineering capabilities in three main areas — quantum secure communication, quantum devices and quantum networks — to achieve commercialisation outcomes. It will be helmed by Co-Directors Professor John Thong, Head of NUS Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr Kwek Leong Chuan from the NUS Centre for Quantum Technologies and the National Institute of Education. Dean of NUS Engineering Professor Chua Kee Chaing will chair the QEP Steering Committee. 

Leveraging Singapore’s expertise in quantum technologies and engineering capabilities in communication, imaging, system design and device fabrication, the programme will create commercialisation opportunities in growing markets such as cybersecurity, global navigation systems, sensing technologies and diagnostic imaging. 

“QEP is an exciting and ambitious R&D programme that will accelerate the translation of research in quantum phenomena into robust and scalable quantum technologies. By bringing together local and international expertise in engineering and quantum science, we aim to develop innovative quantum engineering solutions that could bring about economic and societal benefits for Singapore and beyond,” said Prof Thong.

Dr Kwek added, “Singapore has been actively involved in quantum research for about 20 years. The timely establishment of this new programme will attract more people working in engineering to contribute to these efforts, so that in the long run, we can play a greater role in commercialising quantum technologies.”

A QEP programme office to be hosted at NUS will launch calls for proposals in the identified research themes.

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