Chinese tech giant Baidu is establishing a quantum computing institute and has appointed UTS Professor Runyao Duan as its inaugural director.
Baidu – the second largest search engine in the world – announced this month that it was launching an Institute for Quantum Computing, with the ambition for it to become a world-leading research centre within five years.
The company is seeking to apply the potential benefits of quantum technology across its businesses, from online search to artificial intelligence, following similar moves from its rivals Alibaba and Tencent.
Thrilled to announce the launch of Baidu Quantum Computing Institute, focusing on #QuantumComuputing software & #InformationTechnology applications. We're proud to have Prof. Duan Runyao of Univ of Tech Sydney @ the helm & look forward to integrating the tech into our business— Baidu Inc. (@Baidu_Inc) March 8, 2018
In his new role, Duan will report directly to Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu.
Duan has been at UTS since 2008 when he joined as a senior a lecturer. He later became director of the university’s Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems.
Our fearless leader Prof Runyao Duan leading the celebration of QSI's first birthday! pic.twitter.com/mj96Gk5Cu1— UTS:QSI (@UTS_QSI) December 12, 2017
Duan’s research interests cover quantum information theory, quantum state/operation discrimination, quantum zero-error information theory and measurement-based quantum computation.
UTS confirmed that Duan is on extended leave from UTS:QSI, with Professor Zhengfeng Ji filling in as Acting Director.
Last month, Baidu rival Alibaba made an 11 qubit computer available via the cloud, in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.