American energy giant ExxonMobil and technology firm IBM have signed an agreement to research the use of quantum computing in developing energy and manufacturing technologies.
Advances in quantum computing could provide ExxonMobil the necessary tools and applications to overcome issues in the energy industry, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Some of those areas in which this technology could help include optimizing power grids, creating more predictive environmental modeling, and discovering new materials for more efficient carbon capture.
"The scale and complexity of many challenges we face in our business surpass the limits of today’s traditional computers," Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, said in the statement.
"The advancement of new breakthroughs, coupled with the creative application of current technologies available to us from outside the energy sector, will be critical in addressing the dual challenge of producing energy to fuel economies and meeting consumers’ needs while managing the risks of climate change," he added.
The company said in the statement that it is working with some 80 universities in the U.S., Europe and Asia to explore new energy technologies, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
-IBM Q Network
ExxonMobil also said it has become the first energy company to join the IBM Q Network as part of the agreement.
The IBM Q Network, an initiative to build commercial quantum systems for applications in business and science, consists of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and national research labs, which work to advance quantum computing and explore its practical uses.
"As we continue to explore practical applications for quantum computing, it's critical we partner with businesses and organizations from a variety of industries and disciplines," Bob Sutor, vice president of IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem, said in a statement.
"These organizations will work directly with IBM scientists, engineers and consultants to explore quantum computing for specific industries. They will have cloud-based access to IBM Q systems, as they work to discover real-world problems that may be solved faster or more efficiently with a quantum computer versus a classical computer," he added.
By Ovunc Kutlu