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£33m available for quantum security projects

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The government has invited businesses to apply for a share of up to £33 million to work with others on developing new products and services that exploit quantum technologies.

The second generation of technologies based on new quantum effects promises to deliver more secure digital communication, improved construction and radical increases in computing power.

This, the government says, could transform many business sectors including automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, telecommunications, cybersecurity and defence.

As such, there is up to £33 million available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to invest in projects that aim to speed up commercialisation of these quantum technologies.

Projects must aim to speed up commercialisation of second-generation quantum technologies and should address at least one of the following areas:

  • connectivity and techniques for securing data in storage and in flight
  • situational awareness including autonomous systems; sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure; imaging and sensing of things currently invisible
  • transformational computing to solve currently unmanageable problems

The competition has 2 strands:

The competition opens on 5 August 2019, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 30 October 2019.

£153 million to help commercialise quantum technology

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Government has pledged £153 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund funding, alongside £205 million from industry, to support commercialisation of quantum technologies.

The funding helping to support businesses delivering quantum-enabled products and help remove technological barriers to productivity and competitiveness in the UK. 

The Government funding will also be supported by £205 million from industry.

Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionise a range of industries – from cyber security to defence and healthcare – however to maximise the industry’s potential within the UK it needs continual Government support.

The new programme will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation, lifting total UK investment or planned investment in the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) to over £1 billion.

Four key areas will be approached by the challenge:

  • product and service innovations: a series of collaborative research and development competitions to deliver game-changing quantum-enabled products and services
  • industry-led technology development projects: a programme of industry-managed research activities addressing specific challenges
  • supply chain: feasibility projects focused on innovative components and supply chain elements across the quantum sector
  • investment accelerator: encouraging venture capital for early-stage, spin-out and start-up quantum technologies companies

“The UK is a world leader in quantum technologies,” said Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive. “The funding announced today builds on the great progress we have made and lays the foundations for a quantum technology industry here in the UK.

“It will ensure that we remain at the forefront of this exciting and evolving field and that we realise its potential, from improved healthcare to more accurate and reliable navigation, that is fundamental to so many services.”

Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director for Quantum Technologies at UK Research and Innovation, said: “Quantum technologies will transform all aspects of our lives from more efficient infrastructure to higher levels of security in the transmission and storage of data.

“The announcement of this significant public funding for the industrialisation of quantum technologies exemplifies the benefits of the Industrial Strategy, both in terms of improved coordination across government departments and also the creation of long-term partnerships between government, academia and businesses. 

“Five years of investment in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme has given the UK a technological lead which businesses are now ready to turn in to a significant commercial advantage.”

Image by Garik Barseghyan from Pixabay