Government Invests in UK Quantum Sector
ACCELERATING the use of quantum technology to assist industry across the UK has received a major boost today as Science Minister Andrew Griffith announces £45 million of investment in the Sector (Monday 5 February).
Several projects will benefit from this funding. Some notable examples are: the development of a high-tech brain scanner using quantum technology, and a smart navigation system for trains, using quantum sensors to save costs and enhance safety in tunnels. These are cutting-edge advancements that could revolutionise healthcare and transport.
Over the next ten years, quantum technologies are expected to revolutionise many aspects of life in the UK. It’s also anticipated that these technologies will have a significant economic impact and create well-paid jobs across the country. Since quantum technologies hold the potential to tackle intricate problems that currently surpass the capacities of even the most advanced classical computers the potential for game changing impact is huge.
So where is the money coming from in an era of budget cuts? The UK Government has included Quantum technologies within its five critical technologies as set out in the UK Science and Technology Framework. Specifically, the investment at this time will come from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund, and the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC), jointly these funds have invested £30 million through a competition to develop and deliver world-leading quantum computing hardware prototypes. Another £15 million from the Quantum Catalyst Fund is set to accelerate use of quantum in government. Both initiatives will enable quantum technologies to be used in real-life applications, both in the private and public sector.
UKRI, in partnership with NQCC, is investing in projects to create world-leading quantum computing testbeds based on various technologies. These testbeds will speed up the development of scalable quantum computers and provide a practical way to test and validate their performance, moving beyond just theoretical approaches.
The Dawn of a Technology Revolution
According to Dr Kedar Pandya, Executive Director, Cross-Council Programmes at UKRI, “We are on the brink of a quantum technology revolution that is poised to transform diverse industries from the financial sector to healthcare, and UKRI is committed to ensuring the UK’s place at the forefront of this.”
This message of hope is echoed by Professor Will Drury, Executive Director, Digital and Technologies:“Quantum technologies have the potential to meet some of the greatest challenges society faces. By unleashing computing power that goes far beyond existing digital technology, we can reach new frontiers in sensing, timing, imaging, and communications.