Theme Strategy in relation to Balancing Capability
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's investment in quantum technologies via a dedicated Theme, builds on long-standing underpinning investment in theoretical and quantum science. These strengths led to the establishment of the UK National Quantum Technologies (NQT) Programme in 2014, with the Government announcing £270 million of investment in the HM Government 2013 Autumn Statement. This Programme focuses on supporting world-leading research and innovation into novel quantum technologies, as detailed in the National Strategy for Quantum Technologies (2014).
The EPSRC Quantum Technologies Theme is co-ordinated with other investments within the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, to enable the integration of quantum technologies research and innovation across academia, government laboratories and industry. This co-ordination is facilitated by two groups that enable successful delivery of the programme. These groups also assist the development and co-ordination of a longer term strategy for quantum technologies in the UK, and are:
- Programme Operations Group – which focusses on the implementation of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, and of which EPSRC is a key member
- Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) - which provides advice on strategy for the National Quantum Technologies Programme
For the development of the strategic focus, the Quantum Technologies theme has considered the priorities of the NQT Programme, created engagement opportunities with stakeholders, and interacted regularly with related EPSRC themes and the SAB, which is comprised of industrialists, academics and members of government organisations.
Key engagement activities
The Quantum Technologies Theme has engaged with a variety of stakeholders including the academic community, government, industry and other research Themes within EPSRC, to develop a strategy for quantum technologies in the UK during the 2016-2020 Delivery Plan period. A meeting in May 2016 at Chicheley Hall, provided an opportunity for feedback and engagement from the community regarding the Theme’s strategic focus. Key activities of the strategic focus include:
- A network of four quantum technology technical hubs which are focussed on world leading research, with high levels of engagement from business, aimed at bringing quantum science through technology to potential application.
- Supporting the high level skills required to help support new sectors of the economy through the creation of three training and skills hubs in quantum systems engineering, three CDT’s, and established and early career fellowships.
Key evidence sources
In addition to engagement activities and opportunities for the SAB to input on the strategy, we have been informed via a range of evidence in quantum technologies. This evidence has been identified by ourselves and/or from the community and industry, as part of the ‘Call for Evidence’ activity. The key evidence includes:
- Quantum Technologies Strategic Advisory Board, ‘National strategy for quantum technologies’ (2015)
- Quantum Technologies Strategic Advisory Board, ‘A roadmap for quantum technologies in the UK’ (2015)
- Institute of Physics, ‘The Age of the Qubit’ (2011)
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, ‘UK Quantum Technology Landscape 2014’
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, ‘UK Quantum Technology Landscape 2016’
- UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategy and Programme
The above list is not exhaustive; please see the individual research area rationales for further evidence sources and the Balancing Capability ‘Call for Evidence’ for further information.