Quantum Hackathon

24 - 27 August 2021


The power of quantum technology has the potential to supercharge every industry.

While it is impossible to predict just how much quantum technologies will impact the world we live in today, we know that the future of quantum technologies has the potential to supercharge every industry.

It has the power to be game-changing and will forever impact the way we do business, discover advances in medicine, predict climate events and even accelerate deep space exploration.

We are entering into an entirely new age of computing, one where we can rapidly solve complex problems that have not yet even been considered.

Bring your problem to the four-day Quantum Hackathon (24-27 August) and discover how quantum technologies can achieve incredible outcomes in solving pain points in your industry.

The University of Queensland is hosting an EQUS event in partnership with The University of Western Australia, Macquarie University and the Department of Defence.

In partnership with

How it works

With support from mentors and experts, you will be challenged to identify how quantum technologies and quantum computing applications can benefit society, who the users may be and which entities would commercialise the opportunity across a breadth of sectors and disciplines.

You have the opportunity to identify innovations within your area of expertise, allowing participants from all faculties and industries to get involved.

The hackathon will be delivered in a hybrid format with in-person activities available on UQ, Macquarie, and UWA campuses.

Why participate

By participating in the hackathon you will be able to:

  • build your networks,
  • strengthen your entrepreneurial skills,
  • work with participants outside your discipline,
  • learn about cutting edge quantum technologies, 
  • discover quantum applications in your field,
  • address a real problem worth solving, and
  • have the chance to win a cash prize!
Who can participate

The Quantum Hackathon is open to all members of EQUS and students and staff across all disciplines and study levels at The University of Queensland, Macquarie University and The University of Western Australia. Participants will have access to interstate mentors.


The Quantum Hackathon will be delivered entirely online. 

The University Western Australia will be hosting some in-person elements and has locations booked for: mentoring, event facilitator check-ins, guest speakers at the Giumelli Learning Studios (specific times and rooms to be advised).


Participants in the Quantum Hackathon will be in the running for a share of $8,000 in prize money. Cash prizes are jointly supported by Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and EQUS:

  • First place: $5,000 cash
  • Second place: $2,000 cash
  • Third place: $1,000 cash

Get your team together

Mix it up! Interdisciplinary and multi-skilled teams are encouraged!

Assemble your team

Get together with your fellow innovators to form your team (2-5 people per team) before the hackathon. Each team member must register individually and register as your team on Day 2 of the hackathon.

Find your team

Don’t have a team yet but want to join the hackathon? Register now and on Day 1 we will be hosting a 'Find your team' session for you to network with your fellow innovators and join a team. 


Discover how quantum technologies could affect your industry. Explore some examples below!


How will quantum impact medicine and health care? How can we supercharge drug development or medical imaging with quantum?


How will legal services need to keep up with emerging quantum technologies and its applications? e.g. streamline research or predictive analysis.


How can precision sensors and chemical analysis solve problems in mining, construction and utilities? e.g. precise sensors detecting change.


How would a quantum computer impact the computation of financial markets, calculation of risks, and optimise investment portfolios?


Quantum technologies offers significant improvements in optimising complex systems e.g. calculating inventory and route optimisation.


Quantum technologies can be used to simulate complex systems. What can we solve from simulating complex systems? 


How will business models be affected? If public data is no longer a commodity, how will this impact business models that are based on selling public data?


How can high precision sensors and chemical analysis solve problems in agriculture or food technology? e.g. increase agriculture production rates.


What problems can we solve with secure messages and teleportation of information? How can we solve secure voting or medical data?

Hackathon program

The Quantum Hackathon will run over four days, 24 August - 27 August. All times are in AEST. It is expected that you will be working as a team throughout the four days of the hackathon (in-person or virtually). All activites are optional.

Please note: The Quantum Hackathon pre-event sessions will be hosted by IBM Quantum and are aimed at experienced quantum users. Introductions to quantum technologies will be covered with activities on Days 1 and 2 of the hackathon. You don’t need to know anything about quantum technologies to join the hackathon. 

Date/Time Activity Details
Tuesday 17 August
Introduction to Qiskit workshop

Qiskit is an open-source python software development kit for working with quantum computers at the level of pulses, circuits and application modules. Qiskit accelerates the development of quantum applications by providing the complete set of tools needed for interacting with quantum systems and simulators. This workshop will run through the basics of Qiskit, how to build and run quantum circuits and programs, as well as providing an overview of the application modules, which will be discussed in more detail in provided recordings. This workshop will be delivered by Anna Phan, Australia Community Lead, IBM Quantum.

Monday 23 August
Your Qiskit Questions Answered! Now that you've had some time to explore Qiskit and learn about the application modules (nature, optimisation, finance, machine learning) you probably have questions, join and get them answered. This session will be delivered by Anna Phan, Australia Community Lead, IBM Quantum.

Time Activity Details
9-11am   Teams onboarded onto hackathon Slack channel

Participants will be onboarded onto the hackathon Slack channel by 11am (Early registrations will have access to the Slack before Day 1). This channel will be the main point of communication and contact throughout the hackathon. This is also where you will find all the important information including the dates and times for activities, links to resources, access to online workshops, bookings to mentors, information on how to access in-person activities and support, where you can ask queries to organisers, chat with your fellow participants and more.

12-1.30pm    Welcome, program overview and guest speaking panel Join the live welcome session (or watch the recording after the event) and find out how the hackathon will run for the next four days. You'll also hear from a panel of experts and learn about quantum technologies, what problems can be solved, and what types of solutions are currently being developed across various industries. Be inspired on how your industry can be supercharged with quantum technologies and bring your industry problems and questions for our expert panel to answer. 
2-2.30pm    Find your teammates Looking for a team? Join our live online and in-person sessions to find teammates. Come along to one of the campus venues: UQ, UWA, MU or join online. You’re welcome to form a team across the three universities. The link to the online session and venue details for the in-person session will be available in the dedicated Slack channel. 
3-4pm   Mentoring session Do you have questions for the experts? 20-minute mentoring sessions will be available online and in-person (on campus venues UQ, UWA, MU). Checkout the Slack channel to review mentor bios and book in mentoring sessions.

Time Activity Details
11am   Confirm team and team member names Submit your team registration form by 11am (online) to tell us your team name and names of team members. You’ll find the link to the online form in the Slack channel.
11am-12pm Making the most of the hackathon workshop Is this your first hackathon? Or perhaps you’re a serial hackathon participant. Learn key tips and tricks on how to make the most out of participating in a hackathon: meet like-minded people, learn new skills and get the chance to win prize money. Join the live online workshop or watch the recording after the event. 


Mentoring session

Do you have questions for the experts? 20-minute mentoring sessions will be available online and in-person (on campus venues UQ, UWA, MU). Checkout the Slack channel to review mentor bios and book in mentoring sessions.

2-3pm Check-ins with your event facilitators Your dedicated event facilitators are available for Q&A, tips and tricks, support, feedback and anything else to help you along your hackathon journey. Support is available online and at all campuses (UQ, UWA, MU).
3.30pm-4.30pm Guest speaking panel

Our panel of experts is here to guide you. They will share their insights in commercialising innovations, tech startups and quantum technologies. Bring your questions to the Q&A session with the expert panel to help you with your hackathon project.

Time Activity Details
12-1pm    Check-ins with your event facilitators  Your dedicated event facilitators are available for Q&A, tips and tricks, support, feedback and anything else to help you along your hackathon journey. Support is available online and at all campuses (UQ, UWA, MU).
3-4pm Mentoring session Do you have questions for the experts? 20-minute mentoring sessions will be available online and in-person (on campus venues UQ, UWA, MU). Checkout the Slack channel to review mentor bios and book in mentoring sessions.

Time Activity Details
9am    One-minute pitch video recording due via the online form 

Submit your pitch! Complete the online form including the link to your team’s one-minute pitch video. Refer to the Slack channel to find the link to the online form.

12pm Shortlisted teams announced The 10 shortlisted teams will be announced and invited to pitch at the final pitch competition. You will be notified via the Slack channel and emailed. 
12.30pm-2.30pm Pitch practice Selected teams will register for pitch practice with your university staff. Refer to the Slack channel to book your pitch practice appointments. Pitch practice will be available online and in-person (UQ, UWA, MU campuses).
3-5pm Pitch competition  Watch the pitch competition online or in-person (UQ, UWA, MU campuses). Each team will pitch for three minutes followed by a Q&A from the judging panel. Campus venues will host a catered event for the pitch competition. First, second, and third prize winners will be announced at 5pm.
5-6pm Networking   Networking and catering to follow the pitch competition on your university campus.

Judging criteria

  • Market Validation [30%] – Is the problem real? Is the problem or pain point actually being experienced by the industry? What is the magnitude of loss or cost associated with this problem now? Does the sector care about this problem and what are they doing to address it now?
  • Impact [30%] – How well does this solution fix the problem? What is the magnitude of the economic or social impact of this solution? Is this a sustaining or disruptive innovation?
  • Viability [30%] – Is the solution viable? Is there a believable path to validate and then develop the solution? Can the solution be implemented in practice? i.e. not too expensive / too big / too heavy / etc? Does the solution need a scientific discovery, or can it be engineered now?
  • Pitch [10%] – Is the pitch clear, concise, and compelling? Does it explain the problem, solution, and opportunity?

Download the Terms and Conditions

Have a question?

For more information about the Quantum Hackathon, contact the Ventures team