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February 7, 2024

UK boosts quantum tech with £45M investment

Quantum technologies promise to unlock solutions to complex puzzles that push today's top-notch classical computers

The realm of quantum technologies holds the promise of addressing complex problems that even the most advanced classical computers struggle to solve. From revolutionizing sensing and timing to imaging and communications, quantum advancements are poised to usher in a new era of innovation. Recognizing this potential, the UK government has pledged a substantial £45 million investment in the quantum sector.

This significant funding injection underscores the UK's commitment to leveraging quantum technologies to propel economic growth and foster job creation across the nation. It aligns closely with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's agenda, prioritizing quantum initiatives as one of the nation's top five objectives.

The National Quantum Strategy, unveiled in March 2023, outlines a bold vision, committing £2.5 billion over the next decade to bolstering quantum technologies in the UK. This substantial investment, more than doubling current public funding, aims to catalyze an additional £1 billion in private investment.

The investment strategy, unveiled during a visit to Cerca Magnetics, a University of Nottingham spin-out, includes a variety of initiatives. Notably, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) are injecting £30 million to develop cutting-edge quantum computing hardware prototypes. An additional £15 million from the Quantum Catalyst Fund will accelerate quantum adoption in government applications.

According to Science Minister Andrew Griffith, this funding reaffirms the government's commitment to supporting UK innovators and harnessing quantum's transformative potential. Dr. Kedar Pandya, Executive Director at UKRI, emphasized the pivotal role quantum technologies will play across industries, from finance to healthcare, positioning the UK as a global leader in quantum innovation.

The Quantum Catalyst Fund is poised to expedite the integration of quantum solutions into the public sector, empowering the UK government to harness quantum's diverse advantages. This includes optimizing power grids and advancing healthcare diagnostics.

Looking ahead, the government aims to foster a quantum-enabled economy by 2033, leveraging quantum technologies to enhance healthcare, energy, transportation, and more. Innovate UK, in collaboration with the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, is spearheading a competition to develop quantum computing testbeds. These testbeds will accelerate the development of scalable quantum computers, driving innovation beyond theoretical realms.

Dr. Michael Cuthbert, Director of the National Quantum Computing Centre, expressed optimism about the potential of quantum testbeds, while Professor Will Drury, Executive Director at Innovate UK, highlighted the transformative impact of quantum technologies on society. As quantum advancements continue to unfold, they hold the promise of creating new, high-paying jobs and propelling the UK into a future defined by technological excellence.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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