UBS (NYSE:UBS) is partnering with the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation (GESDA), CERN, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and Swiss higher-education institutions ETH Zurich and EPFL to create the Open Quantum Institute (OQI), which is being launched today in Geneva.
Through science diplomacy, the foundation aims “to bring firms and people closer together to work on projects related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
In its projects, the OQI endeavors “to maximize the potential of quantum computing to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs and solving some of the world’s most pressing issues in fields such as health, energy, climate action, clean water and food security.”
Quantum computing uses quantum mechanics “to deliver processing power that’s far in advance of that achieved by classical computers.” While still in its infancy, quantum computing is expected to have a major impact “on the future of society and various industries such as finance, chemistry and materials science.”
As a lead partner to the OQI, UBS intends to “provide funding of up to CHF 2 million annually and strategic expertise over the next several years, with Group Chief Risk Officer Christian Bluhm joining the foundation’s Advisory Board.”
Through its engagement, UBS helps Switzerland be “a globally relevant player in quantum computing and supports the country’s first-class higher education institutions, while staying close to research at the cutting edge of technological development.”
UBS Group Chief Risk Officer Christian Bluhm said:
“We’re delighted to have been chosen as a lead partner to the OQI and to support the coming together of scientific research, business and government for the common good. New technologies have an increasingly vital role to play in developing solutions to many of the big issues we face as a society. The use of quantum computing to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals marks an important step on the road to a more sustainable future.”
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of GESDA, said:
“Today, we are demonstrating that we are a think-tank that is also capable of carrying out large-scale projects. The OQI shows that science diplomacy, which aims to revitalize multilateralism by turning it towards action, leads to success. The OQI is the result of work carried out over the last twelve months by some 130 experts and representatives in Geneva from some twenty countries. I thank them warmly”.
An independent non-profit foundation under Swiss law and a private-public partnership with the Swiss and Geneva authorities, GESDA was created “in 2019 to strengthen the impact and innovation capacity of the international community through science and diplomacy anticipation.”