Tech Mahindra has earlier made moves to shore up the emerging field of quantum computing in India by investing in quantum R&D. They have now signed a memorandum of understanding with Finnish quantum computing firm IKM to work together to advance the field in India.
This partnership will involve the transfer of knowledge between the two on topics such as cryptography, communication technologies and applications of quantum computing in areas such as healthcare and cyber security. It brings together Tech Mahindra’s experience and knowledge in the software side of quantum computing and IKM’s expertise in creating and building quantum hardware.
To this end, Tech Mahindra also collaborated with Mahindra University earlier this year to conduct more research on quantum computing and explanatory AI, among other subjects. The company has also explored ways in which quantum computing can disrupt existing computing systems such as those used in banking and encryption.
Tech Mahindra’s R&D arm, known as Makers Lab, has 10 centers of excellence worldwide, with the facility at Mahindra University being the 11th. Makers Lab has also set up a center of excellence in Helsinki to leverage Finland’s expertise in quantum computing. Tech Mahindra MD and CEO CP Gurnani had this to say about their focus on quantum technologies.
“Quantum physics makes it clear that there is always this tipping point, and then after that, either current hardware or quantum programmers will be able to suddenly create magic.”
Tech Mahindra aims to use quantum computing to design drugs, as quantum architecture is much more suitable for creating molecule designs than AI systems. They also aim to apply quantum computing technology to fintech, as it will enable better fraud detection and portfolio optimization. They have also invested heavily in their NKST.NOV framework, which targets emerging technologies such as quantum computing to improve the human experience.
IKM is a company specialized in the creation and application of quantum hardware for enterprises and research laboratories. IKM first focused on India as part of the Indian government’s quantum technology mission announced in 2019. They conducted deep research into the creation of superconducting quantum hardware and used this technology to create a commercial 54-qubit quantum computer; the first of its kind in Finland.
Earlier this year, the Indian government signed a joint declaration with Finland to establish a virtual center focused on quantum computing research. S Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), said,
“India strongly believes in cooperation, not competition. So we don’t want to compete with anyone. Instead, we would like to collaborate and combine synergies to get to our end point as quickly as possible. I believe that quantum is another tool that we will have in hand, which we will use for the betterment of humanity.