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Billions to be invested in AI and quantum technology

Major investment in AI and quantum technology

Sweden will intensify its research on artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing, following a 1.6 billion Swedish krona (about 160 million euros) donation from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.  A new quantum technology initiative, the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, is being launched in Gothenburg. 

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The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, a ten-year initiative, will be established at, and managed by, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. It has a total budget of around 1 billion Swedish krona, of which 600 million krona will come from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.  Further funding is coming from industry, Chalmers University of Technology and other universities.

It is extremely pleasing that the Foundation is making this long-term investment. It will allow us to build broad competence in quantum technology in Sweden, and give us the opportunity to develop a Swedish quantum computer,” said Professor Per Delsing, Program Director at the new center, in a statement when the donation was announced.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is also donating 1 billion Swedish krona to the Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) to strengthen AI research. Chalmers is one of the participating universities in WASP. The focus will be on key AI fields: mathematics, machine learning and deep learning. Again, additional funding will come from Swedish universities and companies.

In total the AI and quantum computing grants will result in around 200 new PhD students, and personnel for up to 40 new research teams.

Erik Behm

“AI and quantum technology are crucial areas of the future. These initiatives are highly important for our region with its business community,” explains Erik Behm, Business Region Göteborg's ICT specialist.

“To get a better understanding of West Sweden and the Gothenburg region’s strengths in the areas of AI, big data and machine learning, Business Region Göteborg has initiated a comprehensive assessment of the actors in the sector, both in terms of technology and application area.”

The report is scheduled for completion before the end of this year.

“It will be an important tool for attracting new leading companies, and help existing companies to expand into new markets.” 

AI and quantum technology are causing major technology shifts in many application areas. Erik Behm explains:

“AI is used in a number of areas to predict events, where the system learns by itself. A few well-known examples using the technology include Google Translate, Apple’s personal assistant Siri and self-driving cars.”  

“As for quantum computers they will be able to solve highly advanced problems that a super computer can’t solve today. For example, you could simulate a large number of biological, chemical and physical systems. In this way, they could become the default tool for a whole host of new industries, such as drug and material design.”

“In the future, these quantum computers could be used to power our AI systems, which in turn will become smarter and faster,” he adds. 

“In terms of application areas, it’s potentially everything from automotive and healthcare to finance and the environment.”

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