ANU start-up to power next generation of quantum computing

25 September 2020

A start-up from The Australian National University (ANU) is looking to transform the future of computing, with technology that will enable quantum computers to become a part of everyday life.

Quantum Brilliance, an ANU spin-off company led by physicists Dr Marcus Doherty and Dr Andrew Horsley, has utilised synthetic diamonds in the development of quantum microprocessors. Unlike traditional quantum technologies, which require cryogenic cooling and other expensive, complex infrastructure, the team's innovative platform can be operated at room temperature, enabling the high computational power of quantum computing to be utilised for more widespread applications.

"We're shrinking quantum down to something smaller than a lunchbox, to slot in wherever you have computers today, whether it be underneath your desk, in data centres, hospitals, or even on a satellite," said Dr Horsley.

"We want to make quantum computing ubiquitous."

ANU has recently signed a license agreement with Quantum Brilliance, which will enable the technology developed from the university to be utilised in the start-up's activities.

ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor Innovation & Enterprise, Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, commended Quantum Brilliance on their progress.

"Quantum Brilliance is an excellent example of the innovative research occurring at ANU, how we as a university can support this talent, and how this entrepreneurial activity can feed back into the university ecosystem," Professor Cardew-Hall said.

"The work of Quantum Brilliance not only illustrates the University's broad capabilities in quantum, but also represents the next era of start-ups coming out of ANU in this space."

The team has already been influential in furthering quantum strategies in Australia, including helping shape Australia's roadmap for the quantum industry, released by CSIRO, and establishing a partnership with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to develop Australia's first quantum-supercomputing hub for innovation.

"Australia is in a great position to drive quantum in the 21st century, and ANU has already proven that they're leaders in this space," Dr Doherty said.

Quantum Brilliance co-founder, Mark Luo, initially met the Dr Doherty and Dr Horsley as their mentor through the team's participation in CSIRO's ON program, and joined the start-up after being impressed not only with the potential behind the technology, but also the calibre of the co-founders.

"ANU has truly instilled a focus on innovation and delivering results with minimal resources; an approach Quantum Brilliance has translated to its business," Mr Luo said.

"Their focus is on building transformative technologies that deliver value to the market, rather than perpetual research and development."

Quantum Brilliance now aims to build upon their partnerships with key players in the quantum space at both a national and international level.

"It's unbelievable to think how far we've come in such a short time, from being a bunch of academics in a lab, to feeding into national strategies both within Australia and on an international scale, and founding a company with world-leading quantum technology," Dr Horsley said.

"Now we're looking to build up our manufacturing capability to deliver our first products, and really be able to put quantum computing in people's hands."

For more information about Quantum Brilliance, see