Australia earmarks $73 million for quantum technology development

quantum tech australia
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks as National Statements are delivered as a part of the World Leaders' Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Ian Forsyth/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will spend A$100 million ($73 million) to develop quantum technology, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is to say on Wednesday, as Canberra identifies nine areas of technology it believes critical for national interests.

Quantum technology, based on core principles of physics, is still in its infancy but has become a darling of investors aspiring to revolutionize industries from healthcare and finance to artificial intelligence and weather forecasting.

In recent months Australia has promised spending of billions of dollars to modernize its economy and cut dependence on China, by spurring manufacturing in industries such as resources and critical minerals as well as backing for development of low-emission technology.

The first of the nine areas is quantum technology, with the bulk of the promised A$100 million going to commercialize Australia’s quantum research and forging links with global markets and supply chains.

“Quantum science and technology has the potential to revolutionise a whole range of industries,” Morrison is to say in extracts from a speech provided to Reuters.

He will give examples such as communications, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, and mining.

Other areas of technology that Australia sees as critical include advanced cyber security, communications, mineral exaction, autonomous vehicles and novel antibiotics.

But he will also warn of the ethical implications of such new developments.

“We need to be asking ourselves what should be done with technology – not just what can be done,” he will say, according to the extracts.

($1=1.3633 Australian dollars)

(By Colin Packham; Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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