By Dr. Philip Nikolayev and Susmit Panda

This article is an Executive Summary of a study performed to investigate the Indian Quantum Ecosystem.

India’s quantum technology landscape has seen remarkable growth in 2022-3, establishing the country as a key player in the global quantum ecosystem. This comprehensive report explores the multifaceted developments in India’s quantum sector, covering government initiatives, academic advancements, international collaborations, private sector involvement, startup ecosystem, and the role of nonprofits.

Government Initiatives

The Indian government’s approach to quantum technology is marked by significant funding, strategic collaborations, and a focus on building infrastructure and talent. Key initiatives and achievements in this sector include:

  • National Mission for Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA). With an 80 billion INR (roughly 960 million USD) investment, NM-QTA is a flagship initiative aiming to develop advanced quantum technologies, including quantum computing and communication systems. The mission has specific goals, such as developing a 50-qubit quantum processor and establishing quantum communication networks.
  • Quantum-Enhanced Research and Development. Various research institutions and laboratories across India have received government funding and support for quantum research and development. This includes work on quantum computing, quantum metrology, quantum materials, and quantum communication.
  • Collaborations with Industry Leaders. The government has facilitated collaborations between Indian research institutions and global industry leaders in quantum technology. These partnerships aim to leverage the expertise of multinational corporations and integrate them with India’s research and innovation capabilities.
  • Human Resource Development. Recognizing the need for skilled professionals in quantum technology, the government has focused on developing educational programs and research opportunities in quantum sciences. This includes funding for quantum research at universities and the establishment of specialized quantum technology courses and training programs.
  • Infrastructure Development. Investments have been made to develop the necessary infrastructure for quantum research and innovation. This includes setting up quantum labs, research centers, and fostering a conducive environment for quantum technology development.
  • Strategic International Partnerships. India has engaged in strategic international collaborations to enhance its quantum capabilities. These partnerships are not only focused on research and development but also on developing policy frameworks, setting global standards, and facilitating knowledge exchange.
  • Focus on Quantum Startups. The government has shown support for the burgeoning quantum startup ecosystem in India, providing funding and infrastructure support. This has led to the emergence of a dynamic startup landscape in quantum computing, communication, and cryptography.
  • Legal and Regulatory Frameworks. Efforts are being made to create a conducive legal and regulatory environment for quantum technology development and innovation. This includes addressing issues related to patentability, data security, and technology transfer.
  • Military Applications. The Indian military, including the Army and Navy, is exploring quantum technologies for applications like secure communications and quantum sensors.

These initiatives reflect India’s ambition to be a global leader in the quantum technology sector and its commitment to leveraging this emerging field for economic and strategic advantages.

Academic Initiatives in Quantum Technology

India’s academic sector has been instrumental in advancing quantum technology. A dozen prominent academic institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including their multiple regional branches, are at the forefront of quantum research in India, contributing significantly to quantum computing, communication, metrology, and materials research. These initiatives reflect India’s strategic focus on developing a strong academic foundation in quantum technology, enhancing research capabilities, and fostering global collaborations.

Domestic Private Sector

At least five major Indian corporations – Coforge, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Tech Mahindra – are actively involved in exploring and developing quantum technologies. These corporations are engaging in research and development, forming partnerships with academic institutions, and investing in quantum computing labs.

India’s quantum technology startup scene has experienced significant growth, with an influx of new companies emerging each year. Although a few of them have gone out of business, about 20 are currently operational. These startups are focused on various aspects of quantum technology, including quantum computing, communication, and cryptography. They are leveraging advancements in quantum technology to develop innovative solutions across a range of industries, including finance, healthcare, and logistics. Some are working on software platforms to make quantum computing more accessible, while others explore practical applications such as secure communication networks and optimization algorithms.

The involvement of the private sector, including large corporations and startups, is a significant boost to India’s quantum aspirations. These entities are not only contributing to technological advancements but also creating new job opportunities and spurring economic growth in the emerging field of quantum technology. Their partnership with government entities, academic institutions, and research organizations is essential in creating a robust and dynamic quantum ecosystem in India.

International Collaborations

India’s progress in quantum technology has been accelerated by international partnerships, including collaborations with the USA, Israel, Finland, and the European Union. Projects like the Quantum Computing Applications Lab with Amazon Web Services and a virtual network center on quantum computing with Finland highlight these global partnerships. Multinational companies such as Capgemini, Fujitsu, IBM, NTT Data, and Samsung have established significant presences in India’s quantum ecosystem. They are collaborating with Indian academic institutions and research labs, contributing to the growth of quantum technology in the country. These partnerships are not only a testament to India’s growing stature in the quantum field but also vital for knowledge exchange, resource sharing, and joint advancements in quantum research and applications.

Quantum Nonprofits

Five significant Indian quantum nonprofits are actively promoting research, education, and industry collaboration, contributing significantly to building a quantum-ready ecosystem.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite notable progress, the Indian quantum sector faces challenges including legal barriers, funding constraints, talent shortages, and infrastructural needs:

  • Mathematical or business methods, computer programs, or algorithms are not considered inventions under India’s Patents Act (1970), hindering patentability in quantum technologies.
  • India lags behind global leaders in public funding for quantum computing, with lesser private sector investment compared to countries like the US and China.
  • There is a shortage of skilled personnel in optics, atomic physics, and ultracold ions, with many quantum practitioners preferring to work abroad.
  • Quantum-compatible hardware is mostly imported, and local equipment often does not meet global standards.
  • Quantum machines require substantial investment for operation and maintenance, especially in maintaining cryogenic systems.
  • The academic sector is overburdened, and there is a need for more researchers and scientists in quantum technologies.

Addressing these challenges is crucial for sustaining India’s momentum in quantum technology.


The years 2022 and 2023 mark a pivotal phase in India’s quantum technology journey. With strong government support, robust academic foundations, international collaborations, dynamic private sector involvement, and a supportive ecosystem of startups and nonprofits, India is well-positioned to become a leader in the global quantum technology revolution.

December 11, 2023