UK signs quantum technology deal with US

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK and US governments have signed a cooperation agreement on quantum information science and technology (QIST).

The technologies could lead to the development of exponentially more powerful computers, novel communication networks, and more precise and accurate sensors, but there are challenges with skills, as highlighted by a panel on quantum technologies at the US White House last month.

The aim of the deal is to accelerate the realization of subsequent new technologies for the benefit of society and in support of shared defence interests. For example, US company Rigetti is supplying the UK’s first commercial quantum computer. This will cover existing bilateral science and technology cooperation mechanisms with new pathways to promote jointly funded and cooperative QIST research and development efforts.

It will also boost interactions between government, academia, and the private sector to discuss and understand research trajectories in QIST, which in turn will inform the identification of overlapping interests, gaps, opportunities for future cooperation, areas where standards or consortia are needed, and responses to the as-yet-unknown implications and impacts of the field.

Building the global market and supply chain for QIST research and future systems is also part of the deal to grow a future QIST marketplace based on shared rules for engagement, alongside regular bilateral and multilateral opportunities to discuss QIST matters.

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