This symposium will provide an overview of core quantum technologies and their applications. The overview will provide the necessary background for representatives from the research community, industry and government to discuss the transition of promising research in the quantum technology area to commercially viable products and services.
Government policy settings in the portfolios of Education & Training, Health, Communications, Industry, Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs & Trade will be central to the successful transition of quantum technology research to commercially viable products and services. This quantum technology symposium will provide an opportunity for the research community, government and industry to consider:
i. The current state-of-art of quantum technology and developmental prospects;
ii. The impact of quantum technologies on the way they conduct business efficiently using the technologies (e.g. security, speed and type of services);
iii. The impact of quantum technologies on regulations and policy in (e.g. export control and intellectual property); and
iv. How to actively encourage desired outcomes through policies and regulations (i.e. capitalizing on quantum technology research investment while maintaining and bolstering the research base).
The purpose of this symposium is to initiate development of a coherent national strategy on quantum technology to capitalize on the intellectual property and expertise developed in Australia over the past few decades, while maintaining and bolstering its research base. The Defence Whitepaper 2016 has outlined plans to bolster research and development of emerging technologies, including quantum technologies to maintain its capability edge. Further the UK and the Netherlands have recently developed coherent national strategies to foster development of a quantum technology industry indicating the currency of the window of opportunity for Australia to develop its own coherent national strategy.
Australia has been playing a leading role in research into a range of quantum technologies for decades. It needs to be emphasized that research in Australia is either at world’s best level and in some cases leading the way.
Investment in quantum technology development is growing worldwide. It has been estimated that the annual worldwide research budget was approximately €1.5B in 2015 involving some 7000 researchers. Quantum technology has attracted attention as it holds the promise of significant improvements in a wide range of technologies including: computing; cyber security; sensors systems, including medical and natural resource discovery; position navigation and timing systems; and rapid prototyping and development of pharmaceuticals.
Over 20 countries and 21 companies are investing heavily in quantum research and development. Given the range of applications of quantum technologies and their implications in Australia and around the world it is important to consult across government, industry and academia to explore needs and requirements and synergies. It turn this understanding will help to provide a basis to develop policy settings and areas where investment is most likely to provide significant return.