Jeanne Whalen, writing for The Washington Post (paywalled) on Amazon’s play for quantum computing :
Amazon will base its quantum team at a new center on the campus of Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., which officially opens this week. Caltech described it as the first “corporate-partnership building” on the university’s campus, showing “Caltech’s interests in bringing fundamental science to the marketplace.”
According to The Post, the deal entails Amazon renting land from Caltech for the center, which will be run by a pair of on-leave Caltech professors now working for the tech giant. The article quotes one of the Caltech prof-turned-Amazon-employees:
[Brandao] said Caltech would also benefit because academics need the deep pockets of industry to scale up quantum machines. “It’s not cheap to do that, it’s not easy to do that,” he said. “It’s not something that people can do just at universities. So we need industry there.”
In many ways this open embrace of corporate research is an old story, dating back to MIT in the early 20th century or—in its recent wave—biotech entanglements in the 1980s. What’s new is how commonplace—how humdrum—the mutual bear hug has become.