Australian industry and science minister Ed Husic and the UK secretary of state for science, innovation and technology, Michelle Donelan, have agreed to cooperate on quantum technologies, signing a joint statement on collaboration between the two nations during the AI Safety Summit in England.
Husic said the arrangement will open channels for more investment between UK and Australian companies, facilitate research exchanges and increase the sharing of expertise between the two countries.
“Like AI, quantum will profoundly change our world, meaning international collaboration is essential,” he said.
“Australia is a global leader in quantum technologies. This MOU reaffirms our global leadership and builds an important link to the UK to boost our collaboration and lift investment.
“The UK is Australia’s second biggest quantum collaborator after the United States, and we have a long history of collaborating on technology.”
The memorandum of understanding supports joint activities under the Australia-UK Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership and the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement as well as following through on the Australian government’s National Quantum Strategy.
The joint statement on quantum technologies is designed to promote partnerships and among its focus are several principles, including exploring “new theoretical and practical applications of quantum technologies and collaborate to translate quantum technology research into meaningful practical applications” to benefit both nations; and promoting “joint research, development and exchange of quantum technologies, underpinned by shared principles of research integrity, including freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, openness and transparency, accountability and reciprocity”.
The MOU also seeks to “leverage existing bilateral and multilateral science and technology cooperation frameworks and pursue new arrangements and engagements, as appropriate, to support joint research and development efforts, promote protection of intellectual property and build safe and inclusive research environments”.
Australia is home to several leading quantum startups, including Q-CRTL, Diraq and Quantum Brilliance. which have been backed by the NSW government to commercialise fund, while last week Uniseed backed Queensland’s first quantum hardware startup in a $3 million raise. Last month Silicon Quantum Computing founder Michelle Simmons won the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.