COMMONS

Quantum technologies inquiry launched

08 February 2018

The Science and Technology Committee welcome submissions addressing the opportunities and challenges for quantum technologies.

Quantum technologies have been selected by the Government as one of fourteen ‘core industrial challenges’ to be tackled through its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The Industrial Strategy itself announced that the quantum technology sector will be allocated £20m of ‘pioneer funding’ and be the subject of a minister-led review. This follows the establishment of the National Quantum Technologies Programme in 2013, and a Government Office for Science report on quantum technologies in 2016.

Quantum behaviour

Many technologies already make use of the quantum behaviour found at very small-length scales, but recent developments in our ability to control such behaviour has led to expectations of a new generation of quantum technologies — in engineering, finance, medicine, oil and gas and other sectors. Quantum computers, sensors and communications could affect cryptography, computing speeds and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Submit written evidence

The Committee would welcome written submissions by 29 March addressing the opportunities and challenges for quantum technologies, including:

  • The progress that has been made on the recommendations in the Government Office for Science’s 2016 report;
  • The relative contribution/support from government, researchers and businesses needed to make quantum technologies a success;
  • The current state of the UK quantum industry and its potential going forward, including particular strengths and challenges;
  • What oversight or regulation is needed;
  • Potential barriers for developing quantum technologies, and how these might be overcome;
  • What research priorities there should be for quantum technologies and their possible uses, and who is best placed to undertake/fund that work;
  • The role of international collaboration in quantum technology research and development; and the risks and opportunities of Brexit in this area;
  • Any challenges from potential civil/military ‘dual-use’ applications of the technologies, and how these can be addressed;
  • Any potential societal implications – positive and negative – of the development of quantum technologies, including on health, security, privacy or equality.

Written evidence should be submitted through the quantum technologies inquiry page by Thursday 29 March. The word limit is 3,000 words. Later submissions will be accepted, but may be too late to inform the first oral evidence hearing.

Diversity

The Committee values diversity and seek to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind if asked to appear.

Further information

Image: Varsha Y S

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