Australia to pump $73 million in cutting edge technology including quantum

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In the post-pandemic world, Australia has been at the centre of geopolitical jostling whether over a scientific probe about the origin of Covid-19 or a new push for nuclear-powered submarines.

In a fresh bid to reset its national priorities, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is expected to announce A$100 million (US $73 million) into new sunrise technology areas, with the focus being on Quantum Commercialisation Hub.

“We want technology to protect our citizens’ autonomy, privacy and data,” he is expected to say at the Sydney Dialogue of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Need for the quantum edge

Quantum computing, as compared to classical computing a radically new way of building computers. It is expected to transform large chunks of the new global economy with the computing heft it brings to problems that were almost impossible to solve even for the most advanced classical computers.

However, in a new world of geopolitical flux, an edge quantum computing is also essential to protect critical infrastructure. Quantum computing, for instance, can help in cybersecurity breaches quite easily.

No surprise then that countries across the globe are looking at quantum computing as part of national security plans. China’s significant advances in this still nascent technology area form the backdrop to many of these national investments.

Quantum computing is one of the nine critical technologies that Australia wishes to invest in in order to counter pervasive Chinese influence. It also comes across as an opportunity to counter the post-pandemic economic sluggishness.

In May 2020, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) came out with a report “Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry“. CSIRO is an Australian government agency responsible for scientific research.

This report outlined a roadmap for Australia’s initiatives in the quantum technology space that is rapidly maturing. It argued that the country could easily generate an estimated $4billion in revenues and 16,000 jobs by 2040.

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