On Wednesday 3 May, the federal government released Australia’s first National Quantum Strategy.
Australian investment in quantum technologies is urgently needed, says Industry Minister Ed Husic,
Australia led the world in offering postgraduate quantum physics qualifications 30 years ago, and today has more than 20 world-leading quantum companies operating in the country, but Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic warned that Australia can’t afford to be “left behind in a post-quantum world” amid unprecedented global geostrategic competition.
The National Quantum Strategy is part of the Albanese Government’s National Reconstruction Fund, which will provide targeted investment of $1 billion for critical technologies like quantum.
The National Reconstruction Fund identifies five priority areas:
The National Quantum Strategy, which is based on extensive consultation across industry, researchers and the community, features 13 actions including building the world’s first “error-corrected quantum computer” in Australia, helping establish global standards-setting bodies and considering the ethical application of quantum tech.
It’s estimated that quantum industries could create 19,400 direct jobs, with $5.9 billion of revenue by 2045, in contexts such as economies, defence capabilities, computing, health advancements and cyber security.
Mr Husic says, “I can’t emphasise this enough, quantum technologies will be truly transformative”.
“Quantum computing will kick sand in the face of the 90-pound weakling that is classic computing. It’s just completely different. Relating classic computing to quantum is like comparing the abacus to a classic computer. The leap is that big, if not more,” he told the Australian.
It comes as advancements in quantum technology have sparked increased collaboration between Western nations seeking to avoid Chinese dominance in these technologies, including urging from AUKUS partners for Australia to improve its quantum industry.
Quantum technology is typically associated with complex imaging or military applications. However with time and development, it is proposed for broader applications such as