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IISER-Pune: DST-funded hub to lead research in quantum technology

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune (IISER) with support from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has established a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) on Quantum Technology.

Named I-Hub Quantum Technology Foundation (I-Hub QTF), it will host more than 20 national-level research institutes — select IITs, Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, some IISERs and National Institute of Science Education and Research, among others.

Experts from these institutions will collectively work towards development of novel computing and quantum materials, sensors, quantum communication devices and systems along with quantum computers. At least 13 research groups within IISER, Pune will be part of the newly constituted hub.

Under the Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical System (ICPS) Mission, the DST plans to set up 25 hubs across major research institutions in India. Of these, 18 are TIHs and the remaining would function as Sectoral Application Hubs. Every hub will deal with a domain and work to collaborate with institutions or researchers within that domain.

Some of these areas identified include Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Advanced Communication Systems, Sensors, Activators and Control, Databanks and Data services, GIS and Positioning, Biological Cybernetics and Cyber Security for Physical Infrastructure.

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“I-Hub QTF will help India carry out cutting-edge research and development in a field that is at the frontier of the new technologies that will revolutionise our way of living over the next few decades,” said Professor Jayant Udgaonkar, director, IISER, Pune.

The I-Hub QTF has been constituted as a Section-8 company, wherein it will incubate startups and provide a helping hand to budding entrepreneurs.

“The hub will be a place where researchers from multiple institutions will collaborate on commonly identified areas with specific deliverables…” said Umakant Rapol, associate professor at the department of physics at IISER, Pune.

The DST will spend Rs 170 crore over a period of five years. In the first year, a sum of Rs 9 crore has been sanctioned for the Pune hub.