In two minds: governments’ quantum leap into the future

Governments are investing millions in quantum hoping it might help save lives; will this gamble on subatomic particles pay off?

Governments around the world are taking a leap into the future by investing heavily in quantum technology research. The UK alone has pledged £270m over five years, with the more cautious Australian government promising a AU$25m (£15m) investment over the same period, and the Canadians putting in $50m (£31m).

So just what are they investing in, and why? While the end product may be some way off, quantum technologies promise to deliver multibillion-pound industries across multiple sectors in return for that investment.

Quantum has touched a political nerve, from the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, Australia’s Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology or the European Union’s €1bn (£0.9bn) for an EU quantum manifesto, not to mention Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s well-documented knowledge of the topic.

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