Budget 2018 Announcement on Quantum Technologies
The UK has made an ambitious commitment to build a quantum computer. This intention will put the UK at the forefront of delivering the next information revolution, by harnessing the power of this extraordinary new quantum-based technology to solve otherwise intractable problems with real-world benefits.
The UK’s established coordinated quantum technologies programme has delivered both the hardware platforms for this next generation technology, as well as the skills for building and using it. The national agenda already places the nation at the centre of this exciting mission, and will help to retain and grow the capacity for new industries in computing machines, software and applications.
Further, as the new National Centre for Quantum Computing takes shape, it will create new opportunities for industry and the development of a new skillset geared toward exploiting the new computing power, with public funds stimulating further inward investment.
The new National Centre for Quantum Computing will complement the existing technology Hubs, and together they will accelerate the progress towards a quantum computer, and will keep the UK at the forefront of this global race.
(1)Quantum computing will be a global opportunity: Scientists, industry leaders and governments around the world believe that quantum computers have the potential to solve real life problems that are not currently easily solved, or able to be solved at all. Increasingly we are seeing likely applications and the capabilities of quantum computing, coming out of the research and development that is advancing across the globe.
(2) The UK funded a £270m phase 1 National Quantum Technology Programme from 2014-2019. The Budget 2018 announcement allocates funding for the second phase of the programme from 2019-2024. The budget states: The government will invest a further £235 million to support the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies, including up to £70 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, and £35 million to support a new national quantum computing centre. These technologies will transform capabilities in computing, sensing and communications, bringing promising new approaches to solving global problems such as disease and climate change. This investment is in addition to the government’s recent £80million extension of the Quantum Technology Hubs and takes overall funding for the second phase of the UK’s world-leading National Quantum Technology Programme to £315 million.
(3) Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) is the phase 1 hub focused on quantum information processing and computing, and is funded from 2014-2019.