The UK government has highlighted 38 UK run quantum projects that will receive a share of a £70 million investment that aims to develop technologies ranging from new electric vehicle batteries to advanced imaging systems that detect cancer.
Quantum technologies could potentially bring about technological breakthroughs in the field of cryptography as quantum computers are expected to be exponentially faster than HPC system operating today.
This round of investment will go to 80 companies and 30 university that are working on the 38 quantum projects. Enterprise and universities are collaborating on many of the projects like the University of Manchester which is working with the medical imaging firm Adaptix to develop a sensor that can differentiate between cancers tissues and healthy ones.
UK Research and Innovation Challenge Director Roger McKinlay commented that: “About one third of the projects concern quantum computing, demonstrating that the UK is becoming the go-to place for this game changing technology, with a growing community of thriving spin-outs, led by world-class teams. Quantum computers will be exponentially faster than classical computers at certain kinds of complex problems, solving in seconds what would take the best classical computers thousands of years.”
Last year the UK government committed £153 million towards the development of quantum technologies, bringing total investment into the nascent technology to £1 billion. This week’s allocation of funding to the 38 projects is part of that larger investment.
Through the National Quantum Technologies Programme the £153 million is expected to be matched with a £200 million investment from the private sector. Overall the UK government hopes to ‘increase research and development investment to 2.4% of GDP.”
The UK is also establishing a National Quantum Computing Centre, this centre will be delivered by the UK Research and Innovation body which works in collaboration with industry and universities.
At the time of the investment Science Minister Chris Skidmore commented that: “This milestone shows that Quantum is no longer an experimental science for the UK. Investment by government and businesses is paying off, as we become one of the world’s leading nations for quantum science and technologies. Now industry is turning what was once a futuristic pipedream into life-changing products. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action – taking the most innovative ideas from our world-leading researchers and showing how they can be applied, from diagnosing diseases to detecting gas leaks.”