News story

Quantum technologies: a multi-billion-pound opportunity for UK

The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme has published a roadmap to guide organisations working in this area.


Quantum gravity sensors being developed at the University of Birmingham under the iSense project could have a big impact on many industries.

A new roadmap for quantum technologies sets out how UK businesses can lead the world in multi-billion pound industries over the next 25 years.

The roadmap published by the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme sets out the promising quantum technologies and the likely applications they will have in industries such as finance, defence, aerospace, energy and telecommunications.

It was unveiled today (11 November) at the UK National Quantum Technologies Showcase Event at the Royal Society in London.

The showcase event was an opportunity for companies, technology providers and investors to forge important contacts and learn about the business opportunities on offer.

Dr Richard Murray, Innovate UK’s emerging technologies and industries technologist, said:

Quantum technology may sound like science fiction, yet the reality is that it has the power to transform many aspects of our daily lives, from the way we communicate to the way we manage our health.

A £270 million investment

Quantum theory explains how light and matter behave. New science allows us to create and manipulate naturally occurring quantum effects.

The government is investing £270 million in quantum technologies to help the UK reap the commercial benefits of recent advances in the science.

The roadmap identifies a series of technologies that have the potential for commercial application over the next few years.

They include:

  • gravity imaging for use in oil and gas exploration, archaeology and space exploration
  • quantum sensors for navigation, banking, trains, health monitoring, instant texting and defence
  • quantum computing for the solution of complex problems or large challenges beyond existing computers

The roadmap identifies 4 key areas where the UK should concentrate its efforts:

  • growing a skilled UK workforce in quantum technologies
  • creating the right social and regulatory context
  • maximising UK benefit through international engagement
  • preserving the UK advantage
Published 11 November 2015