The government is to provide over £200m to support engineering and physical sciences PhD students and fuel UK research into quantum technologies.
Most of the investment, £167m, will be used to fund Doctoral Training Partnerships. The grants will be awarded to research organisations with the aim of helping top-level students gain PhDs.
The grants are being awarded to 40 universities across the UK and will give around 2,000 students the opportunity to pursue doctoral studies.
The rest of the money, £37m, will be channelled into the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme designed to support cutting-edge research in the area.
This will include using advanced physics to create new products, such as smaller and more powerful computers, and more accurate brain-scanning techniques designed to facilitate earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
Increased processing capabilities derived from quantum computing can also be used to help machines learn independently. Products developed from quantum technologies could fuel the growth of major industries like computing and consumer electronics.
The funding will be further split into two areas: £25m for new equipment at seven university-based quantum research institutions, and £12m to train researchers at the early stages of quantum engineering academic careers.
Science minister Jo Johnson announced the funding at the University of Oxford’s Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, explaining how it demonstrates the government’s commitment to UK science and innovation.
“The government is ensuring that major new discoveries happen here, such as the creation of super-powerful quantum computers that scientists are working on in Oxford,” he said.
“This new funding builds on our protection for science spending by supporting research in our world-leading universities and helping to train the science leaders of tomorrow.”
The government is clearly keen to pursue quantum research and development in the UK. A network of Quantum Technology Hubs at four UK universities was created last year, as was a £15m skills hub to train future quantum engineers.
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