Quantum technologies are set to transform the global society and economy with significant efforts being put into developing quantum technologies around the world.
The National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) was established in 2014 to make the UK a global leader in the development and commercialisation of these technologies. This focus has set the UK apart from the international competition but the UK needs to continue moving forward as technological developments gather pace.
The NQTP strategic intent sets out the programme’s ambitions for the next 10 years and aims to make the UK:
- a global centre of excellence in quantum science and technology development
- the go-to place for quantum companies or global companies to locate their quantum activities
- the preferred location for investors and global talent.
None of this can be achieved without a “quantum ready” workforce and the NQTP strategic intent makes a commitment to “attract, grow and retain talent” within the UK.
The transition of quantum technologies into commercial products requires a new generation of quantum physicists, engineers and mathematicians who:
- are fluent in multidisciplinary and systems-based approaches
- possess the right entrepreneurial and business skills
- can adapt to new roles in industry.
People and know-how are the most important elements of the emerging quantum technologies ecosystem.
During the first phase of the National Quantum Technologies Programme (2014 to 2019), EPSRC funded a national network of quantum technology hubs through a £120 million investment in four hubs over five years. These were to harness the UK’s strengths in quantum science by turning this into strength in quantum technologies.
As part of their investments in the second phase of the National Programme, EPSRC has refreshed the Quantum Technology Hubs with a £94 million investment in four hubs over five years. This to maintain the technological research leadership that the UK has established in quantum technologies through the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.
During the first phase of the NQTP, the first round of quantum technologies fellowships aimed to support both the individuals and their teams to help realise some of the country’s potential.
The fellowships were aimed at early and established career stage academics whose research focused on the direct exploitation of quantum phenomena. For example, superposition or entanglement, to address the challenges of translation of quantum science through technology to eventual application.
The aim of the fellowships was to develop potentially transformative research in areas that contribute to the development of novel quantum technologies. These have now, or will shortly, come to an end and it is timely to revisit the need for fellowships in the quantum technology field.
EPSRC and NQCC are both key partners within the National Quantum Technology Programme (NQTP) and share the ambition to maintain the UK’s reputation as an excellent place to do research. As an NQTP partner, EPSRC are committed to growing, retaining and supporting talented people to lead within the quantum technology arena.
The NQCC is dedicated to placing the UK at the forefront of quantum computing on the international stage. Excellent research leaders will form the backbone of the UK’s quantum enabled economy and this opportunity is one aspect of a broader strategy to ensure that the UK has the future scientific leaders it needs.