The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) on Thursday announced plans to work with Microsoft Corp. to develop new quantum-based solutions to address energy optimization and other challenges where classical computers have serious limitations, making it the first organization outside the U.S. to participate in the Microsoft Quantum program.
As part of the deal, Microsoft will work closely with DEWA to identify the challenges where quantum computing will have the greatest impact. Energy optimization, for example, requires far too much traditional computing power to identify the ideal balance of resources from different energy sources to meet ever-changing consumption needs in real time.
As part of Dubai 10X (an initiative to use advances in technology to deliver new or existing services in radically different ways), DEWA wants to reimagine its role as a utility company by launching “Digital DEWA,” the digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and is leveraging Microsoft Quantum to help accelerate its goals. In addition, the two organizations will look at ways to support the Dubai EXPO 2020, an event that brings people from all over the world to share ideas.
“We are delighted to work with Microsoft to bring the revolutionary power of quantum computing to Dubai, to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This also will contribute to addressing key challenges while furthering our goal to make the UAE one of the most innovative and sustainable countries in the world,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA. “This partnership will provide us with early access to Microsoft’s quantum computing research and capabilities to develop solutions that improve performance, productivity and quality of services provided to our customers and beyond.”
Microsoft is pioneering the emerging quantum era through a unique approach that will deliver the industry’s most stable and scalable quantum computer. As the development of the quantum computer continues, select partners such as DEWA can access new quantum-inspired Azure services for the most complete, state-of-the-art, end-to-end quantum programming.
Working with Microsoft, the Quantum Development Kit toolset and Azure quantum-inspired services, DEWA will be able to program and test quantum algorithms, then apply those quantum solutions within the existing Azure platform to achieve real-world impacts even before the development of a general-purpose quantum computer. This work will also provide DEWA with a seamless migration to using Microsoft’s quantum computer once it is available.
“Quantum computing holds the promise of solving some of our planet’s greatest challenges that today’s computers are unable to solve,” said Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of Microsoft Quantum. “Innovative partners such as DEWA understand the benefits of getting in early, not only to build their quantum knowledge and skills but to create immediate solutions that can be applied today.”
DEWA will also work with Microsoft to develop a quantum strategy, including understanding where quantum optimization methods can be applied for greatest impact in Dubai, both on classical computers and in the future on Microsoft’s quantum computer.