The CSIRO’s newly established Quantum Technologies Future Science Platform has found its first director with the appointment of Dr Jim Rabeau, the former Sydney University professor and deputy director of the Sydney Nano Institute for Industry, Innovation and Commercialisation.
The Future Science Platform program is a multi-year and multi-disciplinary investment in science in areas of specific challenge, and where there is the opportunity to create new industries. They are set up as ‘platforms’ to attract expertise from across the CSIRO and from industry partners.
Existing Future Science Platforms include such areas as a Precision Health, Hydrogen Energy Systems, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (MLAI).
The focus on Quantum Tech as a Future Science Platform is new for CSIRO and is the result – in part at least – of the work on the agency’s Quantum Technology Roadmap by Australia’s Chief Scientist Cathy Foley, which was published in May 2020.
The Future Science Platform will develop quantum technologies for a range of applications that are aligned with the government’s Modern Manufacturing Priorities, as well as in agricultural and environmental applications.
Its initial areas of focus for CSIRO are accelerated drug development, enhanced climate modelling, mineral exploration, materials discovery and sensing and measurement for defence and space.
Dr Foley, who was the CSIRO’s chief scientist when she wrote the Quantum Technology Roadmap, welcomed the news of Jim Rabeau’s appointment.
“Jim is a global leader in quantum technology and knows how to link up research outputs and their application.”
“I am confident that with Jim at the helm of the newly established Quantum Technologies Future Science Platform, CSIRO’s quantum research will be in good hands. I look forward to seeing what is delivered.”
Dr Rabeau has moved in and out of academic research and private sector roles and brings commercialisation and collaboration experience into the new position.
He has previously worked at Microsoft as principal program manager at the company’s Quantum Computing research lab in Sydney, has worked as a director at Deloitte Analytics and is co-founder and chief executive at LuciGem, a quantum technology startup that uses of diamond in quantum and information security applications.
Dr Rabeau will formally start the new role at CSIRO on September 6.
“The Quantum Technologies Future Science Platform aims to build a quantum technology ecosystem across CSIRO and the broader quantum community,” Dr Rabeau said.
“I’m excited about CSIRO’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision and see great opportunity to amplify quantum technology and continue to establish innovative opportunities for Australian industry”.
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