The project was announced by the Israeli Ministry of Defense Research and Development Directorate (MAFAT) and the Innovation Authority and will consist of two parts. The first will be carried by the Innovation Authority with a development project for a quantum processor of around 20 qubits. The Innovation Authority intends to form a consortium and will invite commercial companies and researchers to submit a proposal for participation. Along this path, non-Israeli companies will also have the opportunity to participate, but they would be required to establish an Israeli subsidiary to do so. One concern is that one of the project’s goals is to train Israeli engineers in quantum technology and develop Israeli intellectual property.

The second track, led by MAFAT, will establish a national center for quantum capabilities with support from industry and academia. The center will deal with the variety of quantum processor development levels, which includes hardware, control, optimization, algorithms, interface and other fields with the aim of fully developing a quantum computer without depending on foreign companies. Agencies believe it is a national security concern to have this quantum independence capability, so that they are not left behind or prevented from using quantum technology due to export controls from another country.

Of the total budget of 200 million shekels, about 140 million is expected to be provided by the government and the rest provided by participating companies. Additional information about this project can be seen in articles written by The post of Jerusalem here and Ha’aretz here.

February 17, 2022