The government funding will support 38 projects around the UK, looking to make the UK a leader in the innovative technology

For many, quantum technology is a term plucked from a sci-fi movie, but in reality this little-understood technology could be revolutionary to a whole host of industries and services around the world. Quantum computers are perhaps the best recognised of these emerging technologies, devices that can solve complex problems in seconds that would take classical machines “thousands of years” to complete.


Now, the UK government is beginning to invest more heavily in the future of this technology, hoping to be a world leader by the time the technology matures. 


On Monday, the science minister Amanda Solloway announced that the government was investing £70 million into quantum technology research, with the money earmarked for 38 projects around the UK.


The investment comes as part of the Quantum Technologies Challenge, which involves over 80 companies and 30 universities and research bodies in the UK.


While many of the projects being funded are focusing on quantum computing, some have very real world applications. Adaptix, for example, is a medical imaging company that is working with the University of Manchester to use the technology to identify cancerous growths, while a Bristol-based start-up called QLM is working with BP and the national grid to develop quantum-enabled gas sensors to detect industrial leaks.


“The UK is home to some of the world’s most advanced quantum technology companies tackling some of the most pressing challenges – from speeding up the diagnosis of cancerous tumours to detecting harmful gas leaks,” said Solloway.


This investment is the tip of the iceberg for the UK’s commitment to quantum technology, with the government suggesting that £1 billion has been put aside for developing the commercialisation of quantum innovation.


For now, quantum technology remains something of a mystery to the British public, but investment of this scale means that in future it may play a crucial role in their lives, from assisting in medical care, to reducing carbon emissions, to developing an electric battery for their car.  


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