Four universities are set to join forces and establish a Sydney Quantum Academy, with backing from the NSW Government.\nThe city-wide initiative led by the University of Sydney is in partnership with Macquarie University, UNSW and University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).\n \nThe state government last night announced it would be putting $500,000 towards the development of a proposal for an academy, which will support postgraduate training and research and \u201cassist the translation of fundamental research into high-tech, value-added jobs in the Sydney basin\u201d.\n\u201cA Quantum Academy will also act as a magnet for outstanding global talent and help develop the next generation of quantum engineers,\u201d University of Sydney\u2019s deputy vice-chancellor (research) Professor Duncan Ivison, said.\n \nThe funding for the proposal is drawn from the $26 million NSW Quantum Computing Fund, which was established in July last year.\n \nNSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the investment would create education and economic opportunities for the state.\n \n\u201cWe have a tremendous wealth of expertise in quantum science and technology in NSW. There are researchers here who the world is watching closely, as the race to develop the first fully-functional quantum computer heats up,\u201d Berejiklian said.\n \n\u201cThe Quantum Academy will train a future generation of quantum engineers to build and program these machines. The Academy will also build on the expertise across our universities to create a quantum ecosystem that will benefit NSW.\u201d\n \nThe state has a high concentration of quantum expertise and research centres.\n \nThe University of Sydney is home to the $150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub, which houses the Australian arm of Microsoft\u2019s quantum research lab network.\n \nLeading researchers at work in the hub include Professor David Reilly, director of Microsoft\u2019s local lab; Professor Michael Biercuk, who launched quantum technology start-up Q-Ctrl late last year; and Microsoft\u2019s Dr Maja Cassidy, who is working to prove the existence of Majorana fermions.\n \nUNSW is home to the Australian Research Council backed Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, which is headed by Australian of the Year 2018, Professor Michelle Simmons.\n \n\u201cWe have some exciting opportunities for translation in the quantum space, we need good people and I welcome the NSW Government\u2019s support,\u201d Simmons said.\n \nUNSW is also the base for Australia's first quantum computing hardware company \u2013 Silicon Quantum Computing \u2013 which received $8.7m from the NSW quantum fund in August.\nResearch at Macquarie University is focused on the challenges around quantum-enabled technologies such as measurement and control, sensors and metrology and quantum simulation.\n \nWork at UTS meanwhile looks at the software and programming challenges around a future quantum computer. Researchers there are soon to launch a programming environment and compiler for the quantum era.\n \n\u201cSydney has one of the most impressive concentrations of quantum researchers in the world. Bringing that expertise together to train people from Australia and internationally will be a fantasticcomplement to the great work we are already doing,\u201d said Professor Stephen Bartlett from the University of Sydney's Quantum Science Research Group.\n\nThe proposal will be written by the deputy vice-chancellors of the four universities. They are due to report to the government in August.