After the United States, Germany, and Japan, IBM and Yonsei University announced that Korea will be the fourth country in the world to install an on-premises IBM Quantum System One. The IBM Quantum System One at Yonsei is projected to go live in 2023, according to IBM.
See also: IBM’s New 127-Qubit Quantum Processor
This significant milestone, which is expected to be deployed at the Songdo International Campus, heralds in a new age of quantum workforce growth in Korea, which is also being driven by the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT’s goal of supporting 1,000 researchers and scientists by 2030.
“Only around 3,000 skilled quantum professionals exist now,” according to the IBM Institute for Business Value’s “The Quantum Decade” research, “and that base needs to be doubled or quadrupled.”
Yonsei wants to engage with IBM to enhance quantum computing and expand the pool of quantum talent as part of the planned partnership, with the goal of making quantum computing practicable for the benefit of industry, science, and society. IBM and Yonsei University intend to bring together Korean industry, academia, and research institutions to form a local ecosystem focused on strategically important research and development activities and generating economic prospects.
A major priority will be given to developing quantum programming, application, and technology development skills and knowledge as part of this initiative. This next-generation national quantum competency will be built on the same concept as Korea’s prior national quantum competencies in semiconductor, electronics, and automobile technology.
“IBM brings decades of research to advance quantum computing across three key areas: hardware, software and ecosystem development. We are committed to the growth of the global quantum ecosystem and fostering collaboration between research communities,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and VP of Quantum Computing. “IBM is pleased to partner with Yonsei University in Korea to advance the local quantum workforce and we look forward to working closely with the University’s team and the broader ecosystem.”
The statement also coincides with the Korean government’s ambition to establish and expand national competency in quantum technology. This year, the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT announced “The investment strategy on quantum technology research and development” to increase investment in establishing the foundation of quantum research, fostering talent, expanding global collaboration, and promoting quantum-based industry innovation.
Yonsei University has joined the IBM Quantum Network, which includes more than 170 Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academic institutions, and research labs striving to enhance quantum computing and investigate practical applications. In addition to the first Hub at Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University will be the second Hub in the region.
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), among others, are collaborating with IBM Quantum to lay the groundwork for national quantum computing competitiveness.
Seoung Hwan Suh, President of Yonsei University, said, “I believe that quantum computing is the next-generation technology that can bring a breakthrough to the high-tech material and biotechnology industries. IBM is truly the world leader with hardware and software technology, development roadmaps and a clear vision for quantum computing.
Yonsei University, which has the largest medical network and research manpower in Korea, expects to be able to create synergy in research and education based on quantum computing through collaboration with IBM. We look forward to partners joining us to help establish Yonsei University as Korea’s quantum computing hub.”
Sung Shik Won, GM of IBM Korea, continued, “IBM believes that building a global ecosystem and open adoption for quantum computing is key to advancing development and application of quantum computing in science and business. Korea already has outstanding capabilities across various industries and research fields – from biotechnology and medical to manufacturing and financial services. This cooperation between IBM and Yonsei University to establish a Quantum computing ecosystem will only serve to further strengthen the country’s capabilities.”