The government has pledged £15m to create ‘skills hubs' across the UK to train future quantum engineers, with the goal of stimulating growth in cutting-edge technologies.
The funding is being delivered through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which will work with the technology and engineering industries to create training programmes for PhD students.
It is hoped that the "next generation of quantum engineers" will create new products based on quantum effects, such as 6G smartphones, and help grow Britain's quantum technology sector.
Business secretary Vince Cable said that the investment will give the UK a flexible and highly trained workforce to turn concept technologies into reality.
"From cameras that can see through smoke to cracking down on internet fraud, quantum technologies are taking innovation to a whole new level and offer an unparalleled opportunity to shape the next generation of high-tech products that will improve our day-to-day lives," he said.
The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, a cross-government initiative, explained that the skills hub strategy hopes to realise the UK's "billion-pound potential" in the field of quantum technologies.
Greg Clark, universities, science and cities minister, said that the skills hubs will deliver technologies that change the way people live and offer benefits in healthcare, communications and security.
"Quantum skills will allow us to bring game-changing advantages to future timing, sensing and navigation capabilities in a sector that could be worth more than £1bn to the UK economy," he said.
The skills hubs underpin the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme's new strategy, also unveiled today, which focuses on increasing research, market opportunities and skills in the UK quantum technologies sector.
David Delpy, chairman of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board, said that the UK is a world-leader in quantum research and has the chance to build a solid industrial base around the technology.
"A concerted effort will allow the creation of an industry that will deliver clear benefits back to the UK," he added.
The investment follows the £120m funnelled into creating a national network of university-led quantum hubs in December 2014.
Oxford, Glasgow, York and Birmingham universities led the quantum hubs, which are focused on quantum sensing around imaging and meteorology, quantum computing and simulation, and quantum communications.
These investments are part of the government's support of future technologies development. The government committed £270m in 2013 to quantum technology research.
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