Cyber-security and defence are specifically mentioned alongside automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, and telecommunications, as sectors eligible for a share of up to £33 million from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to invest in projects that speed up commercialisation of quantum technologies. This announcement is the latest move to build on the UK National Quantum Technology Programme which focuses on the end users of the devices that quantum promises to transform.
Quantum computing and encryption are viewed in the security industry as potentially creating 'uncrackable' encryption.
Projects applying for funding should address at least one of the following areas:
connectivity and techniques for securing data in storage and in flight
situational awareness including autonomous systems; sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure; imaging and sensing of things currently invisible
transformational computing to solve currently unmanageable problems
The competition has two strands:
up to £27 million is available for consortia undertaking large research projects of £2million to £10 million.
up to £6 million is available for projects with costs of less than £500,000 that can be undertaken by companies working alone or with partners
The competition opens on 5 August 2019, and the deadline for applications is midday on 30 October 2019. Businesses of any size may apply. It is expected that projects will range in size between £50,000 and £10 million. A briefing event takes place on 2 September 2019.
Earlier this month the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK Research and Innovation announced the results of a previous round of £94 million government investment in quantum technologies. Quantum Technology Hubs led by the Universities of York, Glasgow, Birmingham and Oxford were among those involved in developing new applications for quantum technology. Government investment will support this work for a further five years.
Private and public investment through the National Quantum Technologies Programme is set to pass £1 billion since its inception in 2014.