UK government pledges £45m in quantum research funding 


The funding is part of the UK’s national quantum strategy, which was published in March last year and commits £2.5 billion to the development of quantum technologies over the next decade 

Today, the UK government has announced that it will invest £45 million in the country’s quantum sector as part of its ongoing commitment to become a quantum-enabled economy by 2033. 

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) will invest two thirds of the investment (£30 million) to relevant companies via a competition to help develop and deliver world-leading prototype quantum computers. The funds will support the competition winners to set up quantum computing testbeds, providing a controlled environment in which scientists can study quantum bits – the basic unit of information in a quantum computer. This will enable them to test and validate new algorithms and technologies, as well as exploring how to scale up these technologies in future. 

The remaining third (£15 million) comes from the Quantum Catalyst Fund, which aims to accelerate the use of quantum technology in the public sector. More specifically, it aims to speed up the process of the integration of quantum solutions across varying policy areas, such as in healthcare, where it could be used to detect early signs of dementia, or in energy sector, where it could help manage the electricity grid. 

“The UK is already one global leader in quantum and to maintain that position this government will continue to invest in this transformational technology propelling the UK into a new era of technological prowess and economic growth,” said Science Minister, Andrew Griffith MP in a press release. 

Quantum technologies are one of the UK government’s five critical technologies set out in the UK Science and Technology Framework, the government’s approach to transforming the UK into a science and technology superpower by 2030. The other four key technologies are: AI, engineering biology, future telecommunications, and semiconductors. 

“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,” said Dr Kedar Pandya, executive director of cross-council programmes. 

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