Australian gov’t launches $36m quantum technologies program

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The Australian Government has launched a $36 million program to harness the potential of quantum technologies in tackling significant national challenges.

Dubbed the “Critical Technologies Challenge Program (CTCP),” the initiative is designed to support Australia’s leading quantum technology businesses.

The program encourages collaboration between these businesses, researchers, and end-users to develop market-led solutions for issues of national importance.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic announced the program’s first round of applications at the Innovation Bay Inspire event.

The program focuses on addressing four nationally significant challenges: optimising the performance, sustainability, and security of energy networks to facilitate the transition to Net Zero; improving medical imaging and sensors to enhance diagnosis, disease treatment, and internal body monitoring; enhancing communication with autonomous systems in various environments; and increasing efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of resource exploration, extraction, and mineral processing.

“Putting our world-leading quantum know how to work on our big national challenges will be a powerful demonstration of its value to the community,” said Minister Husic.

He further stated, “This program is another way we’re accelerating the development and adoption of quantum technologies in ways that have a practical impact.”

The program features two funding stages. Stage one provides successful applicants up to $500,000 for feasibility projects.

Those who complete stage one successfully can apply for up to $5 million in stage two to develop technology demonstrator projects and proofs of concept.

The CTCP is a key component of the National Quantum Strategy, building on previous quantum investments. These include the establishment of the Australian Centre for Quantum Growth, investments in Silicon Quantum Computing, and a partnership with the Queensland Government and PsiQuantum to develop the world’s first fault-tolerant quantum computer in Australia.

Additional capital sources for quantum companies include the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) and the $392 million Industry Growth Program.

Grant applications for round one are open until Tuesday, 2 July at 5 PM. More information is available at www.business.gov.au/ctcp.