TechUK: Building a pathway to commercial quantum computing
(ComputerWeekly) TechUK, a non-profit trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can recently commissioned a study on the route to commercialization of quantum technology. IQT-News summarizes below.
TechUK warned that it is unsustainable to develop a talent pipeline where everyone working in quantum needs a PhD. The authors of the report pointed out that, at the moment, it can be difficult for those without a PhD to find technical roles within quantum.
According to TechUK, the high levels of investment needed in quantum computing put intense pressure on both startups and scaleups in the UK trying to attract quantum talent. The authors of the TechUK report urged organisations, educational institutes and government to ramp up the talent pipeline immediately and to mitigate the potential of a brain drain. Julian David, CEO at TechUK, said: “There is a war for talent. This stuff is a little more specialised. It’s a global matter. We need to focus on growing our own and making the UK an attractive place to come to.”
TechUK believes the development of a suitable talent pipeline in the UK will be difficult and will require the UK tech sector, the quantum industry, academia and the government to actively work together to prioritise quantum skills. The authors of the report called on both the government and industry to reduce barriers to entry for a career in quantum, to make the UK “a world leader in commercialisation”.
“However, industry cannot do this alone – our first quantum report calls on the UK government and industry to set clear commercial ambitions together, giving UK-based and international businesses the confidence that the UK is a viable place to achieve commercial viability.”
TechUK also said the UK needs to recognise that quantum commercialisation will also require the development of a quantum-literate workforce who have appropriate skills to enable the deployment of quantum products and services. According to TechUK, this includes having a workforce within the wider UK tech sector with the right skills to utilise quantum technologies and their applications.
The report lists several skills needed to boost the adoption of quantum computing, including electrical engineers, materials scientists, network specialists, computer programmers and business leaders who can be upskilled to exploit the quantum opportunity.
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.