Australia to invest $73 million in quantum tech as it invests in “critical technologies”
(ConversationAustralia) Support for a quantum commercialisation hub is part of a plan for “critical technologies” that Australia’s Scott Morrison will unveil today.
The government will invest more than $100 million in quantum technology, including $70 million over a decade for the hub to pursue partnerships with “likeminded” countries to commercialise Australia’s quantum research and help businesses find markets and investors.
The government has already signed a co-operation agreement with the United States.
Chief Scientist Cathy Foley will lead the development of a quantum strategy
Quantum technology has vast potential in computing, defence, and cryptography.The government’s “blueprint” says critical technologies – which can be digital, such as artificial intelligence or non-digital, such as synthetic biology – are those able “to significantly enhance or pose risk to our national interest”.Although the blueprint does not spell it out, it is clear that the danger posed by China is one central consideration in the government’s thinking about the need to both advance and protect Australia’s critical technologies. “Critical technologies confer a strategic edge, and at a time of intensifying geostrategic competition, this can be used to threaten our values, interests and way of life,” the blueprint says.The critical technologies plan includes a list of 63 technologies but the government is focusing on nine.
These are critical minerals extraction and processing; advanced communications (including 5G and 6G); artificial intelligence; cyber security technologies; genomics and genetic engineering; novel antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines; low emission alternative fuels; quantum technologies; and autonomous vehicles, drones, swarming and collaborative robotics.