- Queensland released its Quantum and Advanced Technologies Strategy.
- The strategy includes quantum, photonics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), superconductors and compound semiconductors.
- The five pillars include deep science capability, science commercialization, quantum workforce, engagement and missions and investment.
In a move towards securing its future as a global leader in quantum technologies and advanced industries, the Queensland government has unveiled a comprehensive Quantum and Advanced Technologies Strategy. According to the report, it is a visionary roadmap that not only aims to harness the state’s quantum advantage but also seeks to create a thriving ecosystem that will attract talent and investment from across the Indo-Pacific region.
“Over the past 30 years, Queensland has steadily built a reputation for being at the global frontier in science and advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology,” the report states. “These capabilities are attracting significant global recognition and investment for the state. Now, quantum technologies are also emerging from Queensland laboratories, with potential to deliver transformative benefits across a wide range of domains.”
The strategy, which encompasses various cutting-edge technologies including quantum, photonics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), superconductors, and compound semiconductors, aspires to bring all the necessary capabilities under one roof. The report shows a strategic approach that allows for significant commonalities in manufacturing processes to be exploited, while also fostering distinct product and market opportunities for each supporting technology.
Officials recognize the need for a skilled quantum workforce and the potential to build an integrated education and training framework across universities. With the right facilities and resources, this approach positions Queensland to meet the specific needs of industry partners, according to the report.
The strategy outlines a vast array of potential applications across various domains. From healthcare to decarbonization, sports technology to defense, critical minerals to government services, Queensland’s quantum technology is already making an impact.
A few examples of Queensland’s growing quantum community are listed in the report. For instance, Brisbane-based company WearOptimo is pioneering wearable microsensors for healthcare conditions. Griffith University’s compound semiconductor technology has led to Brisbane’s Quest Semi manufacturing power electronics devices called Schottky diodes, contributing to decarbonization efforts. The University of Queensland is at the forefront of SportsTech, using quantum brain imaging for concussion diagnosis. Meanwhile, the Australian Government’s Defense Science and Technology Group is working on Quantum-Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing to reduce dependence on GPS.
In the realm of critical minerals, the CSIRO-developed LANDTEM system, a quantum sensing product, is already detecting underground ore bodies, aiding the mining industry. Furthermore, governments in Australia and overseas are exploring quantum solutions, such as enhancing public transport efficiency.
The strategy is built upon five key pillars:
- Deep Science Capability: Queensland recognizes the importance of maintaining leadership in quantum science as a foundation for economic growth.
- Science Commercialization: Entrepreneurial scientists are crucial for creating new companies and advancing quantum technologies, supported by mentoring and venture capital.
- Quantum Workforce: With global competition for talent, Queensland aims to train local talent, attract global experts, and promote diversity in quantum fields.
- Engagement and Missions: End-user industries and government agencies are encouraged to embrace quantum technology and advanced solutions for maximum impact.
- Investment: Queensland is capitalizing on national and global pools of capital, as well as its strategic position in the AUKUS Alliance, to grow its quantum ecosystem.
Importantly, the Queensland Quantum and Advanced Technologies Strategy aligns with the broader national effort to enhance Australia’s sovereign capability in quantum technologies. The Australian Government released the National Quantum Strategy earlier this year, which complements the state’s initiatives and seeks to foster growth and investment in the quantum sector over the next seven years.
Some of the key Australian Government initiatives include the National Quantum Collaboration Initiative, the Australian Centre for Quantum Growth, the Critical Technologies Challenges Program (with a quantum focus), and a Quantum Workforce report to identify workforce and educational needs for the quantum sector and adjacent industries.
Queensland indicates that it is committed to collaborating with the Australian Government and other states and territories to create a thriving quantum technology ecosystem.
The goal is not just to position Queensland as a world leader in building and delivering quantum products, but also delivering quantum benefits to the world.
It states: “By strengthening our quantum and advanced technology manufacturing capabilities, we can make not only quantum products, but also other products with significant markets and very substantial growth trajectories in areas such as energy, decarbonisation, health and biotechnology, defence and aerospace. We can also attract companies and license technologies from across Australia and the world to develop quantum and advanced technology products in Queensland.”