Quantum leap: Feds are making huge investments in technology

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With the publication of the blueprint and action plan for critical technologies with a focus on mining, defense and communication, the federal government has invested in future quantum technologies.

The action plan outlined nine technologies for the initial focus to be protected and promoted in the national interest of Australia, including advanced materials and manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), computers and communications, and quantum.

Following the announcement of the blueprint and plan of action, a statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed the first step in making the plan a reality.

“The Morrison government is investing $ 111 million to secure Australia’s quantum future and to support the commercialization, adoption and use of this new technology to create jobs, support the Australian economy and keep Australians safe,” began the explanation.

Quantum technology works on the principles of quantum mechanics (the physics of subatomic particles) and the investment hopes to improve mining and the manufacture of precision sensors, among other things.

$ 70 million of the investment will go into the Quantum Commercialization Hub to build partnerships with like-minded countries and organizations.

Science and Technology Secretary Melissa Price said it would only strengthen Australia’s standing as a force in quantum technology.

“Australia is a world leader in quantum,” said Minister Price.

“This is a fantastic technology that will improve our lives and transform our industries such as finance, communications, energy, health, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.”

Once the technologies are developed and commercialized, a window will open for Australia to be part of a valued industry.

Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume said it was important to make this type of investment as soon as possible in order to maximize profits later.

“The global quantum industry is projected to be worth at least $ 86 billion by 2040, and I am determined that Australians secure their share of these jobs and economic activities,” said Hume.

Tania Constable, chief executive officer of the Minerals Council of Australia, said the Australian mining industry is well positioned to benefit from these technological advances.

“The Australian Government’s Blueprint and Action Plan for Critical Technologies announced today will help drive innovation, productivity and economic prosperity, as well as create high-quality jobs for Australians,” said Constable.

“Australia has a strong comparative advantage in mining and the supporting policy framework is important to ensure the industry remains strong and competitive.

Constable emphasized the existing aptitude and willingness to adopt new technologies in mining applications.

“Australian mining companies are leading adopters and innovators of many of the critical technologies identified as being of national interest,” she said.

“This includes autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, the extraction and processing of critical minerals, drones, electric batteries and machine learning.”


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