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Information and Communication Technology United Kingdom

United Kingdom ICT UK Launches National Quantum Strategy

The UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has identified quantum technology as one of its “5 priority technologies of tomorrow” together with Artificial Intelligence, engineering biology, semiconductors, and future telecoms.

The UK has attracted approximately 12% of global private equity investment into quantum technology companies (2012-22) and has an estimated 9% global market share in quantum technologies (2021/22). About 30% of businesses have taken concrete steps to prepare for the arrival of quantum computing.

There are already at least 160 companies active in the UK’s quantum sector. The UK ranks second in the world after the United States for the number of quantum companies and second in attracting private investment, leading the competition in Europe (it attracts more private investment than any other country in Europe).

The UK Quantum National Strategy aims at fostering quantum applications to improve the lives of everyone in the UK, from improving healthcare and speeding up drug discovery, to boosting economic growth and security and providing jobs, to tackling climate change.

The Strategy’s vision is for the UK to be a leading quantum-enabled economy by 2033, with quantum technologies being an integral part of the country’s future digital infrastructure.

The UK is more than doubling its investment into quantum by investing $3.1 billion in quantum over the next ten years, with the aim of attracting significant additional private investment ($1.2 billion) on top of that, to:

  • Ensure the UK is home to world-leading quantum science and engineering
  • Support business
  • Drive the adoption and use of quantum technologies
  • Be a global leader in establishing a regulatory framework that supports innovation and the ethical use of quantum technologies, and protects national capabilities and national security

The Strategy’s main activities to deliver these objectives are:

  • Invest $3.1 billion of government funding in quantum R&D over the ten years from 2024 for:
    • A future network of research hubs in areas of quantum technologies and science
    • Accelerator programs for the development and commercialization of quantum technologies
    • Challenge-led innovation funding with collaboration between industry, academia and government
    • Training and talent programs
    • Collaborative R&D programs with international partners
    • Investment in infrastructure to support quantum researchers and companies
    • Investment in fundamental research
  • Increase investment in quantum technologies from 2023:
    • $85 million in quantum computing
    • $125 million in research hubs
    • $30 million in quantum fellowships and doctoral training
    • $20 million to boost government procurement of quantum technologies for public use
    • $25 million on collaborative R&D in quantum networking
    • $25 million additional funding to the National Quantum Computing Centre
    • Increased international collaborations. The UK currently has a bilateral agreement with the U.S. on quantum collaboration and it aims at having bilateral agreements with 5 further leading quantum nations by 2033.
  • Undertake a Regulatory Horizons Council Review of the future needs for quantum technologies regulation to enable the sector to innovate and grow
  • Protect key areas of quantum capabilities, including using the National Security Investment Act and export controls

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