Connects decision-makers and solutions creators to what's next in quantum computing

Three-year Xprize Quantum Applications competition targets goals that benefit society

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

March 5, 2024

1 Min Read
Google's Sycamore quantum processor
Google's Sycamore quantum processorGoogle Quantum AI

Google Quantum AI and Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, have launched a three-year, $5 million global competition to find quantum computing solutions to real-world societal challenges.

The competition, Xprize Quantum Applications, is being run in collaboration with the Xprize Foundation, a non-profit that runs public competitions intended to encourage technological development, and the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator.

Examples of the societally beneficial goals the competition is addressing are those described by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which include eliminating poverty, ensuring access to sustainable energy and promoting health and wellbeing.

Quantum computers are already showing promise in solving some of these problems, for example, by accelerating drug development, designing new battery materials or engineering more efficient fusion reactors. However, most research using current Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) processors has shown the feasibility of the solution rather than delivering practical results.

A secondary goal of the competition is to discover what can be achieved with NISQ devices and how much more powerful quantum computers will need to become to deliver practical solutions. It also aims to shed light on which applications for quantum computing will be the most transformative in delivering a positive impact on society.

Related:Why Industry Should Pursue Quantum Results, Not Quantum Supremacy

As such, the competition is seeking both near-term applications for NISQ processors and applications for future, large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computers.

“While we believe there are useful applications to be discovered in the NISQ era, most of quantum computing’s impact will come once we’ve built large-scale quantum computers — and we can identify those applications now, so we have them ready to deploy as we build more capable hardware,” the Google team said in a blog post. 

Research teams wanting to discover more about the competition and register interest can do so on the prize website.

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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