Australia to invest $ 70 million in quantum technology development


Quantum technology may sound like science fiction, but complicated research is about to change the lives of Australians.

The Morrison government will today announce $ 70 million over the next 10 years for a quantum commercialization center.

In a speech at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce an investment in the hub, which will be designed to help commercialize Australian quantum research and forge links to global markets and supply chains.

“Quantum science and technology have the potential to revolutionize a whole range of industries, including finance, communications, energy, health, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and mining,” is expected say Mr. Morrison.

The investment is part of the government’s plan to protect and promote certain critical technologies in the national interest of the country.

For example, quantum technology should be used in defense forces and to guard against cyber attacks.

Quantum is one of 63 technologies on the Critical Technology list that Australia will focus on developing as part of its Critical Technologies Blueprint, which aims to protect and promote certain innovations in the national interest of the country.

“Most of our technology is – and will continue to be – imported,” the Prime Minister will say.

“In some cases – for critical technologies – we need to make sure that we can access and use these technologies reliably and securely in good times as well as in bad times. “

The hub will be designed to attract private co-investments and to establish partnerships with equivalent bodies among “like-minded nations”.

“The first step is a joint cooperation agreement that the government has signed with the United States,” said Morrison.

In his speech, Morrison is expected to stress the importance of the new AUKUS trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and say that it is not just about nuclear submarines .

“This is a partnership founded fundamentally on trust and shared interests,” he said.

AUKUS will see the three countries “promoting more in-depth information sharing; foster greater integration of science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains related to security and defense; and strengthen our cooperation in advanced and critical technologies and capabilities ”.

Mr. Morrison will say that Australia is also deepening its technology partnerships with India, Japan and the United States through the Quad consortium.

“Technology does not develop in a vacuum,” he should explain.

“It reflects the values ​​of the company that creates and uses it.

“For Australia, we are guided by our values ​​as a liberal democratic nation – based on respect for the rule of law, human rights, economic and religious freedom, equality gender and independent institutions.

“We want technology to protect the autonomy, privacy and data of our citizens. “

What is quantum

University of Technology quantum technology expert Professor Igor Aharonovich told that quantum is basically the science of explaining phenomena that could not be understood using traditional physical theories like gravity or electricity.

For example, scientists have discovered that it is possible to teleport small atomic particles such as a single atom or an electron, and quantum mechanics can explain why.

While the quantum sounds like wacky science fiction, it’s about to change people’s lives.

In particular, Professor Aharonovich believes that one of the biggest impacts will be providing people with hack-proof phone lines, which could also make financial transactions more secure.

Nowadays, people can talk by mobile phone using signals sent by towers and fiber optic connections. It is relatively easy to clone information transmitted over fiber optics so that hackers can listen to it.

While a quantum communication network would also use optical fiber, it only uses single photons, creating a very secure channel.

“You cannot clone a single photon, so any hacking attack can be detected instantly,” Professor Aharonovich said.

Another application concerns the development of quantum sensors, which are very sensitive and allow the detection of a single atom.

For example, a quantum sensor can detect a single iron particle in someone’s blood.

It can also use the surrounding magnetic field to provide mapping in areas where it is not possible to use the global positioning system (GPS).

In Australia, Morrison said the technology could improve discovery of ore deposits and groundwater monitoring.

Mapping capabilities could also have major defense applications and the technology could also help protect Australia from cyber attacks.

Professor Aharonovich welcomed the news of the funding.

“It’s very exciting that Australia is providing resources to develop these technologies,” he said.

Take the quantum to the “next level”

Australian Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley has been appointed to lead the development of the country’s first national quantum strategy, aimed at better integrating industry and government activities and building on the recommendations of the sheet of quantum technology from CSIRO.

Dr Foley will also chair the National Committee on Quantum, which will bring together business, research and national security expertise.

“I am confident that the new strategy will help position Australia as a leader in quantum technology in the Indo-Pacific,” said Mr. Morrison.

The Prime Minister will note that Australia already has world-class research capabilities and is a world leader in several areas of quantum technology.

“Now we have to take it to the next level. ”


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