Quantum Systems Team

Our Research

Quantum technologies will have a transformative impact on industry and society. In 2019, a white paper published by CSIRO estimated that quantum technologies will generate 16,000 jobs and over $4 billion in revenue by 2040. In 2022, Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (now DISR) published a national quantum strategy that identified quantum computing as one of the five emerging technologies in the Government’s $1.2 billion Digital Economy Strategy, including it in the Government’s Action Plan for Critical Technologies as one of the nine priority areas for immediate focus. The enormous implications of quantum technologies for Australia’s economy and national security demand that CSIRO establishes itself as a leader in this area, both nationally and internationally, and develop in-house state-of-the-art quantum computing capabilities in line with the needs of the Australian Defence, Industry and Government sectors, and contribute to protecting Australian national sovereignty.

The research in quantum computing can be broadly classified into three themes:

  1. Building scalable universal quantum computers (qubit platforms, control, error-correction)
  2. Use quantum computers to enable solutions to some of the most complex (and classically intractable) problems in data science, cybersecurity, machine learning, health, optimisation, and climate science.
  3. Responsible adoption of quantum computing in a variety of applications by developing quantum software engineering methods, leveraging classical HPC resources for hybrid classical/quantum solutions and protocols.

The key research challenges Data61 focuses on include:

  • How to lower the barrier for quantum application developers by a new quantum software engineering environment which supports co-design with traditional applications and encapsulates quantum hardware platform characteristics?
  • How do we create a responsible adoption framework such as protocols for quantum-resistant classical security, quantum-enabled security and security of quantum software and applications?
  • How do we design scalable quantum algorithms relevant to CSIRO’s mission-driven real-world applications?

Our Vision

The vision for the Data61 quantum technologies program is focused on reducing the barrier to the future development of quantum technologies and paving the way for wider usability of quantum technologies with security and responsible use.

  • Reducing barriers: The reduction of the barrier will be underpinned by the development of innovative quantum software engineering methods, tools and platforms, which will provide a hardware-agnostic high-level software engineering environment for quantum application developers, alleviating the need for rigorous training in complex quantum physics. The software platform will provide opportunities to seamlessly work in diverse and heterogeneous environments, exploiting both quantum hardware resources and hybrid quantum/classical environments where quantum systems work in conjunction with the existing classical supercomputing systems.
  • Usability: The usability of quantum technologies will be expedited by developing novel applied and scalable quantum algorithms tailored for real-world problems arising from Australia’s greatest challenges and through engagement with CSIRO’s missions, cross-disciplinary CSIRO business units, SMEs, industry, Defence and government sectors.
  • Security and Responsible use: The security, safety and privacy of quantum technologies will first be ensured by implementing hybrid classical/quantum security protocols to help in a smooth transition to a post-quantum world. Our research will also create a broader framework for responsible and purpose-driven design and adoption of quantum computing technologies to drive positive outcomes for society.

In the next 3-year timeline, Data61 will bring new breakthroughs in secure quantum software systems and quantum software engineering methods by focusing on security, responsible use, applied/scalable algorithms and software engineering co-design methods and tools for quantum applications. The vision for ten years timeline is to establish Data61 among the world’s top 5 in quantum software security and software engineering, making Australia’s adoption of quantum technology inclusive, efficient and trustworthy.

Meet the team

Dr Usman Muhammad
Research Team Leader

For information on staff and students follow the links.

Data61 has established a new quantum technology program, focused in the areas of quantum software, quantum security, and quantum algorithms & applications. This seminar series invites quantum experts to provide an updated summary of the global research on the topics of interest, highlight key challenges in the development of quantum technologies and stimulate new ideas for future research directions. The seminar series also provides engagement and networking opportunities for Data61 researchers.

If you want to be kept updated about our Quantum Systems Seminars, please send an email to quantum@data61.csiro.au