Defense Ministry, Innovation Authority to fund Israel’s first quantum computer

Sam Fried

The Israeli Innovation Authority and the Defense Ministry will spend approximately NIS 200 million ($62 million) to develop Israel’s first quantum computer and lay the foundation for Israeli computational ability, which they said would lead to future developments in economics, technology, security, engineering, and science. According to their joint announcement […]

The Israeli Innovation Authority and the Defense Ministry will spend approximately NIS 200 million ($62 million) to develop Israel’s first quantum computer and lay the foundation for Israeli computational ability, which they said would lead to future developments in economics, technology, security, engineering, and science.

According to their joint announcement Tuesday, the budget will fund two parallel avenues. The Israel Innovation Authority will focus on developing the infrastructure for quantum computational ability which, it said, may include the use of technology from abroad. The Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), meanwhile, will establish a national center with quantum capabilities that will work with academia, industry, and government partners to develop a quantum processor and then a complete quantum computer.

In a nutshell, quantum computers process exponentially more data than classical computers, using quantum bits, or qubits, the basic unit of quantum information. Whereas classical computers carry out logical operations based on one of two positions — 1 or 0, on or off, up or down — quantum computers can keep qubits in “superposition,” a principle of quantum mechanics where they are both simultaneously. In this state, quantum computers “can crunch through a vast number of potential outcomes simultaneously,” according to an MIT Technology Review explanation.

There is also the concept of entanglement, where pairs of qubits exist in a single quantum state. “Quantum computers harness entangled qubits in a kind of quantum daisy chain to work their magic. The machines’ ability to speed up calculations using specially designed quantum algorithms is why there’s so much buzz about their potential,” according to the magazine.

The field is relatively new and extremely complex, but experts say that quantum computing can be extremely beneficial in industries like cybersecurity, materials and pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, and advanced manufacturing.

Israel has about two dozen startups and companies currently focused on quantum technologies, including Quantum Machines, which raised $50 million last September. The company was founded in 2018 and went on to develop a standard universal language for quantum computers, as well as a unique platform that helps them run.

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel are all racing to make quantum computing more accessible and build their own systems, while countries such as China, the US, Germany, India, and Japan are pouring millions into developing their own quantum abilities.

According to recent market projections, the global quantum computing market size was expected to have been worth $487.4 million in 2021 and reach $3.7 billion by 2030.

“Quantum computing is a technology Israeli industry cannot ignore,” said Israel Innovation Authority CEO Dror Bin in a statement Tuesday. “The industry must develop knowledge and access to infrastructure in which it can develop growth engines for activities in which it will decide to lead.”

Dr. Danny Gold, head of the Defense Ministry’s DDR&D, said, “Quantum computing, on all levels, is showing signs of being an important future component of the state’s security and its technological superiority.

“Starting this process in the framework of the national program constitutes a significant step towards achieving Israeli independence in this area,” he added.

This new initiative is part of the 2018 launch of Israel’s National Quantum Science and Technology Program with a budget of NIS 200 million, later expanded to NIS 1.25 billion ($390 million). The program was initiated to facilitate relevant quantum research, develop human capital in the field, encourage industrial projects, and invite international cooperation on research and development.

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time of the launch that the program would help enhance Israel’s intelligence-gathering capacity. “What we are talking about today is promoting Israel as a world leader in quantum information science,” Netanyahu said in 2018.


Do you value The Times of Israel?

If so, we have a request. 

Every day, our journalists aim to keep you abreast of the most important developments that merit your attention. Millions of people rely on ToI for fast, fair and free coverage of Israel and the Jewish world. 

We care about Israel – and we know you do too. So today, we have an ask: show your appreciation for our work by joining The Times of Israel Community, an exclusive group for readers like you who appreciate and financially support our work. 


Yes, I’ll give


Yes, I’ll give

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel


Join Our Community


Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


https://www.timesofisrael.com/defense-ministry-innovation-authority-to-fund-israels-first-quantum-computer/

Next Post

VIP program supports large-scale, interdisciplinary research teams

  KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 18, 2022) — Kennesaw State University has joined the ranks of institutions nationwide and internationally to transform the way research and education can be strategically integrated into the undergraduate curriculum. The Office of Undergraduate Research recently launched a Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program, designed to facilitate […]

Subscribe US Now