February 21, 2022
The Government says that improvements in our understanding and ability to control quantum properties mean we can achieve a step change in technological performance. As a result, quantum technologies are anticipated to have significant impacts across multiple sectors; including finance and healthcare, and within defence and security.
These impacts include: (i) unprecedented computing power to solve certain problems which will lead to substantial productivity gains across the economy; (ii) timing and communications advances that will provide resilience and new functionality within future networks for the benefit of wider society; and (iii) new sensing and imaging to improve the measurement of changes in a range of environments, leading to applications within autonomous systems, medical diagnostics, earth observation or defence and security. The anticipated impacts of these technologies on economies globally amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in the next few decades.
In 2014, the Government established the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), a ten-year programme to work with industry and academia to commercialise quantum technologies for economic and societal benefit, build a strong quantum industry, and a trusted supply chain and capabilities. The Government says that since its inception, the NQTP has “nurtured considerable developments”, but that there is still work to do to move these technological advances from the research lab to real-world applications. Accordingly, the Government wants to develop a Quantum Strategy.
The Strategy will cover all quantum technologies and their enablers, including sensing, timing, imaging, communications and computing. Technologies realised earliest will be important stepping-stones to help accelerate the path to scalable quantum computing machines and a future quantum-enabled internet.
The Government is proposing three objectives for the Quantum Strategy:
- to grow and maintain a sustainable quantum sector, delivering societal and economic benefits to the UK;
- to grow and maintain the UK’s capabilities and leading global position, to help the UK to have strategic advantage in and through quantum technologies (where the UK
has strengths and a competitive edge); and
- to enable the wider economy and society to take advantage of the opportunities associated with the use of quantum technologies and mitigate the risks.
The Call for Evidence comes in the form of a series of questions to help inform the development of the Strategy. The Government is seeking views from the quantum research and business community and wider interested parties in the following areas:
- Strategy vision and objectives;
- the knowledge pipeline;
- the innovation ecosystem
- technology adoption; and
- the regulatory environment.
The Call for Evidence closes on 10 March 2022. To access the consultation, click here.