$6 million injection into quantum tech research

The Australian government has announced a $6 million investment for industry, academia and government research agencies to contribute to the development of quantum technologies.

Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne says quantum technologies have tremendous potential to lead to profound benefits in many sectors, including healthcare, communications, and defence.

“Quantum technologies could bring game changing advantages for Defence, in areas including timing, sensing and navigation capabilities, communications and quantum computing,” he said.

“This research aims to accelerate the exploitation of quantum technologies in a range of applications, such as highly accurate time-keeping and advanced Global Positioning System (GPS)-independent navigation.”

GPS-independent navigation is one area of interest to Defence. GPS cannot be used underwater or indoors and is vulnerable to being blocked either by illegal jamming devices or solar weather activity. Industries reliant on GPS could stand to benefit significantly from a more precise and robust alternative.

“Supported by the Next Generation Technologies Fund, the goal of quantum technologies research is to inform Defence of the potential benefits and practical limitations of quantum technologies through studies and demonstrator systems within three years.”

“I strongly encourage Australian industries and universities to contribute to this research with their innovative technologies and ideas,” said.

Quantum technology proposals are being sought in two categories:

  • Smaller proposals which deliver studies to inform Defence on the applications, feasibility and practical limitations of quantum technologies; and
  • Larger proposals which address the development of concepts, algorithms and/or technology demonstrators which contribute to the development of Defence relevant capabilities.

Quantum technologies is a key element of the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund which is designed to provide game changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force of the future.