Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation have announced a funding competition for businesses to apply for a share of up to £33m for using quantum technologies to develop new products and services.
The funding will come from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and will be invested by the UK government in projects that aim to accelerate commercialisation of quantum technologies.
According to the government, a second generation of technologies based on new quantum effects has the potential to provide more secure digital communication, enhanced construction and drastic increases in computing power.
The use of quantum technologies may transform several business sectors such as automotive, healthcare, cybersecurity, defence, infrastructure and telecommunications, said the government.
To be eligible for the funding, projects should address at least three areas, the first of which is connectivity and techniques for keeping data secure in storage and in flight. The second is situational awareness, including autonomous systems, sensors and detectors for the built environment, imaging and sensing of things currently invisible, and transport and infrastructure.
The third area which the projects can be based on is transformational computing to solve problems that are currently unmanageable.
There are two strands for the quantum technologies competition with the first one being a funding opportunity of up to £27m for which consortia, which are carrying out large research projects can apply. The second strand has a funding opportunity of up to £6m offered for projects which cost less than £500,000 that can be executed by firms working on their own or with partners.
The funding competition will open on 5 August 2019 with the deadline for submitting applications being 30 October 2019. Businesses irrespective of their size can apply with the government anticipating projects in the range of £50,000 and £10m.
A briefing event regarding the competition is scheduled to be held on 2 September 2019, said Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation.
In June 2019, the government said that investment in quantum technologies through the National Quantum Technologies Programme will cross the £1bn investment milestone since its founding in 2014.
In 2018, the government allocated up to £20m of ‘pioneer’ funding to help establish how quantum technologies can be applied for developing the products of the future.
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