There’s much talk about quantum technology in the UK – and it’s been a long time coming. In 2013, the government set up the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme with an investment of £270m, with the programme’s second phase running from 2019 to 2025.
The focus of the programme has now shifted from academic research to industry-led projects, with total investment from the Quantum Technologies Programme now standing at over £1bn.
It’s clear that it’s a sector that the UK government is keen to push forward. But how can investors get involved – and is it the right time?
Five projects to watch
The UK Quantum Challenge has awarded funding to five quantum technology products, all of which are “on the cusp of commercial application”. These diverse products include a wearable brain scanner, a secure communications network, a miniaturised atomic clock, a gas imaging project and a gravity sensor – showing just how many sectors quantum technology could impact on.
Roger McKinlay, Quantum Technologies’ Challenge Director, says that these projects “will add value not just to our personal lives, but to the wider economy, bringing investment and the growth of scientific and engineering skills across the country.”
Playing the long game
Despite the fact that huge advances are being made – both in the UK and overseas – many believe that it’s unlikely that quantum technology still has a way to go before it hits the mainstream.
EY’s 2022 Quantum Readiness report suggests that business leaders expect quantum to play an important – and disruptive – role in industry, but with a timescale of “before 2030”.
However, many companies are pushing forward with their own developments, with IG among the industry experts highlighting quantum computing stocks to watch.
For investors interested in this space, it seems that it’s a sector best suited to those interested in playing the long game.
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