U.S., U.K. enhance cooperation for Quantum Tech

The U.S. and U.K. have issued a joint statement to enhance cooperation on quantum technologies, including in the areas of metrology research, next-generation atomic clocks, and quantum sensors. Eric Lander, U.S. presidential science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, and George Freeman, U.K. science minister, signed the quantum cooperation statement Nov. 4.

The statement articulates a vision that calls for the promotion of collaborative research efforts, enhancing training opportunities for scientists and engineers, and to grow the market for quantum technologies. Specifically, it will facilitate continued collaboration between the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.K. National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

According to a White House press release, the statement additionally builds on ongoing activities in which both nations are participating — among them the U.S. National Quantum Initiative and the U.K. National Quantum Technologies Program. Per the release, industry representatives from both nations will meet in the coming months to build a supply chain for quantum information science and technology, as well as achieve other outcomes aimed at deepening engagement and quantum technologies market development.

Signing of the statement comes alongside the four-year anniversary of the inaugural U.S.-U.K. Science and Technology Agreement. It also coincides with UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) introduction of 12 quantum industrial projects through its National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP). Areas of focus for the projects include gas leak detection for the hydrogen industry; autonomous quantum technologies; an error-corrected quantum processor solution for commercial quantum computing; development of cryo-CMOS for scalable quantum computing; quantum data centers; and an underwater single-photon imaging system.

The 12 projects are funded by £50 million ($67.15 million) from NQTP. That amount is part of UKRI’s £170 million ($228.3 million) “Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge,” which has already awarded more than £100 million ($134.31 million) in grants over the last three years.