News story

Quantum technologies: a new era for the UK

A new strategy shows how the UK could take a world-leading position in emerging multi-billion-pound quantum technology markets

quantum clocks

The National Physical Laboratory is developing clocks in the form of ion traps that could offer 100 times the accuracy of current atomic clocks

A new strategy to guide UK investments in emerging quantum technologies markets over the next 20 years has been published.

It aims to create a coherent government, industry and academic quantum technology community that gives the UK a world-leading position in the emerging multi-billion-pound new quantum technology markets, and to substantially enhance the value of some of the biggest UK-based industries.

The strategy has been drawn up by the Quantum Technologies Strategic Advisory Board (QT SAB) on behalf of the quantum technologies community and is published by Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The government announced a £270 million investment in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme in its 2013 Autumn Statement, to be championed by QT SAB.

The programme is a coordinated effort between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

The partners have already invested in a number of programmes including:

  • a series of quantum technology hubs and centres for doctoral training set up by EPSRC
  • investment by MOD in demonstrators for quantum navigation and gravity imagers
  • funding from Innovate UK for businesses exploring the commercial possibilities of quantum technologies

New products with astounding properties

Emerging quantum technologies promise a new generation of products with exciting and astounding properties that will affect our lives profoundly. They will have a major impact on the finance, defence, aerospace, energy and telecommunications sectors and have the potential to improve imaging and computing in ways that cannot be predicted.

The strategy makes a number of recommendations aimed at the wider quantum technologies community that seek to:

  • ensure a strong foundation of capability in the UK
  • stimulate applications and market opportunities
  • grow a skilled UK workforce
  • create the right social and regulatory controls
  • maximise UK benefit through international working
Published 23 March 2015