Australia invests $1bn in US firm PsiQuantum

The federal and Queensland governments will together invest almost $1 billion in California-based PsiQuantum to build the world’s first fault-tolerant error-corrected corrected quantum computer in Australia.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Premier Steven Miles will on Tuesday announce the financial package for the US quantum computing firm, which was founded by two Australians.

The $940 million investment under the Future Made in Australian banner consists of equity, grants and loans from both governments and will secure the location of PsiQuantum’s Asia-Pacific headquarters for Queensland, to be located near Brisbane airport.

The investments reportedly make PsiQuantum one of the highest funded quantum companies in the world. The company had a valuation of more than $5 billion and had raised $700 million as at November last year.

PsiQuantum, which plans to deliver its first commercial quantum computer in less than six years, will add more than 400 highly skilled local employees as part of the investment, more than doubling its 280 existing staff.

The investment follows six months of secrecy by the federal government over a private expressions of interest process conducted with 21 local and international quantum firms in August last year.

The EoI was issued just months after the release of the inaugural National Quantum Strategy, in which the federal government proposed building the “world’s first error-corrected quantum computer in Australia”.

Industry insiders claim the EoI, which was tightly bound by a strict non-disclosure agreement, was written in a way that favored the photonics-based quantum approach being pursued by PsiQuantum.

Federal Industry minister Ed Husic and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources have sought to block multiple attempts by the media and the Parliament to access information about the proposal.

The Queensland government has also held multiple meetings with PsiQuantum over the last two years, including treasurer Cameron Dick and former Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

As reported by, Ms Palaszczuk met with the company’s chief commercial officer in the same month the quantum computing EoI was issued by the federal government last year.

Mr Albanese on Tuesday said there was a need to “make bold investments today if we want to see a Future Made in Australia”, referring to the government’s answer to the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act.

“We are proud to be working with the Queensland government to make visionary investments in the future of our nation. This investment shows we are serious about building a strong quantum ecosystem here in Australia,” Mr Albanese said.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles described the investment as being “as significant for Queensland and the nation as the first silicon microprocessors were to California that established Silicon Valley”.

“Today’s announcement cements Queensland’s position as a global leader in the quantum technology industry, backed by our dedicated Quantum and Advanced Technologies Strategy,” he said.

“Quantum will bring billions in economic opportunity to Queensland, which will deliver thousands of high paying tech jobs and the chance for Queenslanders to work in careers that will change the world.”

Mr Husic, who over the weekend also announced $18 million for a quantum growth centre, said the PsiQuantum investment is a big part of the Albanese government’s effort to drive the growth of advanced manufacturing and will help make Australia a “centre for quantum growth”.

PsiQuantum co-founder and chief executive Jeremy O’Brien said the investment would allow the company to take “a massive step forward in our mission to help deliver on the promise of quantum computing”.

The company is currently on an “aggressive plan” to have the Brisbane manufacturing and production facility up and running by the end of 2027, two years out from when it expects to deliver its first commercial quantum computer.

The company registered in Australia and set up its local headquarters in Brisbane’s sought-after Golden Triangle business district just a week before the launch of the National Quantum Strategy.

More to come

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