IBM has announced the expansion of its quantum computing efforts to Africa in a new collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa.
Wits University is the first African partner on the IBM Q Network and will be the gateway for academics across South Africa and to the 15 universities who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).
“This is the latest outcome of the joint partnership between IBM Research and Wits, which started in 2016 when IBM opened its second lab in Africa in Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg.
“To expand the IBM Q Network to include Wits will drive innovation in frontier-technologies and benefit African-based researchers, academics and students who now have access to decades of quantum computing capabilities at the click of a button,” said Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs.
Quantum computing promises to be able to solve certain problems – such as chemical simulations and types of optimization – that will forever be beyond the practical reach of classical machines.
IBM first made quantum computers available to the public in May 2016 through its IBM Q Experience quantum cloud service and has doubled the power of its quantum computers annually since 2017.
IBM established the IBM Q Network™, a community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.
Researchers at Wits will investigate the use of quantum computing and machine learning in the fields of cosmology and molecular biology with a specific focus on HIV drug discovery.
The teams will also jointly study quantum teleportation, a field pioneered by IBM Fellow Charles Bennett.
“For Africa to remain competitive for the coming decades we must get the next generation of students quantum ready,” said Dr. Solomon Assefa, Vice President, Emerging Market Solutions and Director, IBM Research – Africa.
As part of the partnership between IBM and Wits, scholars from sixteen ARUA universities including: Addis Ababa University; University of Ghana; University of Nairobi; University of Lagos; University of Ibadan; Obafemi Awolowo University lle-Ife; University of Rwanda; University Cheikh Anta Diop; University of Cape Town; University of Kwa-Zulu Natal; University of Pretoria; Rhodes University; University of Stellenbosch; University of the Witwatersrand; University of Dar es Salaam and Makerere University, will have the opportunity to apply for access to IBM Q’s most-advanced quantum computing systems and software for teaching quantum information science and exploring early applications.
To gain access to the IBM Q quantum cloud service, ARUA scholars will be required to submit quality research proposals to a scientific committee of Wits and IBM experts for approval.
“Having access to IBM Q is pivotal for Wits University’s cross-disciplinary research program and allows our researchers in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and in the broad natural sciences, including in laser technology, quantum optics and molecular design, to leverage the next level of discovery research. It’s envisioned that the first results from this collaboration will be forthcoming in the next two years,” said Vilakazi.
IBM’s recently unveiled IBM Q System One, is the world’s first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use.
IBM’s most advanced universal quantum computing systems available through the IBM Q Experience platform.
More than 10 million experiments have run on the IBM Q Experience and users have published over 160 third-party research papers.
Also, developers can work with Qiskit, a full-stack, open-source quantum software development kit, to create and run quantum computing programs.
To further increase skills development, IBM Q is hosting an invite-only Qiskit Camp in South Africa this December for 200 quantum researchers and computer scientists where they will learn in an immersive environment and receive hands-on training.
For more information about the IBM Q Network, as well as a full list of all partners, members, and hubs, visit https://www.research.ibm.com/ibm-q/network/
The agreement with Wits was signed in April 2019.
Motorola Solutions Launches New Device Designed for SMBes in Sub Saharan Africa
Global leader in mission-critical communications, Motorola Solutions, launches a new two-way radio device specially designed for small and medium businesses in Sub Saharan Africa.
The MOTOTRBO™ DP540 two-way radio is built for cost-conscious businesses looking to transition to digital technology for reliable and efficient communications.
As demand for digital radio communication rises, small and medium businesses are looking for simple and affordable solutions for their communication needs without the need to compromise on quality.
MOTOTRBO™ DP540 is the perfect tool for users in need of an entry-level digital radio, offering ease of use and powerful digital-enabled features. The new device, available through certified Motorola Solutions resellers in Sub-Saharan Africa, is based on the ETSI Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Standard, proven worldwide in affordable digital systems with low complexity.
“In today’s economy, small and medium businesses are constantly under pressure to deliver more, and deliver fast, all while keeping a conscious mind on reducing costs,” said Laurent Tribout, director of Motorola Solutions indirect sales for Sub-Saharan Africa. “With this in mind, we’ve developed a communication solution that holds all the necessary features in one affordable device”
Ruggedly Versatile, Digital Out-of-The-Box
One of the risks of migrating from analogue to digital technology is the transition period which can potentially interrupt business operations.
To make this transition smooth and easy, the MOTOTRBO™ DP540 can operate on both digital and analogue modes. In this way, radio users can operate and communicate on their new MOTOTRBO DP540 radios while on the job, as the business transitions to digital technology.
The compact, ruggedly-engineered device is built to withstand harsh conditions and resist corrosion even in the saltiest environments such as seaports and harbours. It boasts superior audio output and unique features, such as voice announcement customization, allowing users to customize the default voice announcement languages using their own audio files.
MOTOTRBO™ DP540 is also built for multi-language working environments, with special audio profiles designed to deliver enhanced audio quality when speaking languages with distinct rolled “R”s such as French or Afrikaans.
Handsfree When Sanitation is Key
As in many mission-critical work areas, healthcare workers rely on two-way radio communication for many of their daily tasks. Whether it’s coordinating patient arrivals, or briefing an ambulance team on the way to a scene. In many circumstances, such as medical staff treating COVID-19 patients, it is not ideal for personnel to be handling their radio devices.
The portfolio of MOTOTRBO devices, including the new DP540 model, is equipped with a Voice-activated Transmit (VOX) feature, which allows users to operate their radio without the need to press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button. Along with compatible earpieces designed for handsfree operation, healthcare workers and other essential workers can keep their hands free and clean.
FI Lagos Anounces Final Admissions deadline for Cohort III
The first and second cohorts of Founder Institute Lagos saw the emergence of 45 new companies all geared towards solving various problems leveraging technology.
Cohort III kicks off from the 19th of August, 2020, and sessions take place one night per week via zoom, over a 14-16 weeks period.
If you apply today, then you will be able to take advantage of the free DNA test HERE ($50 value), or you can learn more here. Anyone building a business that is pre-funding is welcome to apply, including established businesses and teams, aspiring entrepreneurs.
It is interesting to note that leaders of some of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, and more.
If you enrol by 11.59 pm on Sunday’s Final Admissions Deadline, you will be eligible for a reduced course fee and have the best chance of being accepted. Get started here.
In the words of Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., regional director, Founder Institute, startups who make the decision to join the program will be learning how to build and launch a company in a structured way plus become a part of a global network of innovators, mentors and investors.
The Founder Institute (fi.co) is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, based in Silicon Valley but with chapters in close to 200+ cities.
The program provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the support network and structured process needed to build an enduring business.
MultiChoice Announces a New Way to Keep Customers Informed
As a part of its resolve to continually create innovative ways to offer customers the best service, DStv has announced the launch of Enhanced Decoder Notification (ED) functionality which aims to address communication issues for subscribers and take the admin out of viewing, so, consumers can get back to being entertained.
This new functionality will provide viewers with streamlined access to important subscription information, including rewards notifications, payable subscription amounts, methods to avoid late payment and disconnection.
This will be done by displaying icons that represent the different types of notifications on top of Live TV and will be available on the DStv decoders. The message will also be added to the Mail Messages screen.
John Ugbe, chief executive officer MultiChoice Nigeria, said “In the ever-advancing world of video entertainment, innovation is a key driver of the business.
“MultiChoice is always dedicated to delivering innovative resources to ensure continuous improvements in our products.”
Through a myriad of innovations that ensure customers satisfaction as well as guarantee a rewarding journey for all our subscribers – MultiChoice continues to position itself as one of Africa’s major entertainment sources, and now, with the introduction of the new EDN service ensures fewer interruptions during viewing.
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