A new state fund is offering New South Wales-based companies and research organisations up to $4 million to commercialise quantum computing hardware and software. In total, $7 million is now on offer in single competitive grant round.
The new Quantum Computing Commercialisation Fund will be announced on Tuesday as the latest initiative from last budget’s $703 million Future Economy Fund and follows quantum being identified as a priority in the state’s 20-Year R&D Roadmap last year.
“This fund will target both startups and existing deep-tech companies to ensure that innovative projects are accelerated towards commercialising quantum computing, maintaining our momentum and reinforcing NSW’s position as a global quantum centre of excellence,” Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said.
The New South Wales Quantum Computing Commercialisation Fund (QCCF) is open to applicants for grants between $200,000 and $4 million until February 2.
Administered by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, the funding can be used for a range of commercialisation activities from prototyping and pilot studies, specialised equipment and intellectual property protection.
But the quantum hardware and software needs to be between the Technology Readiness Level of three to seven. This means it must be at the prototyping stage at a minimum but not yet a complete system.
Companies, individuals (willing to form a corporation) and research organisations are eligible, with business led joint applications with universities encouraged.
An expert panel led by the state’s Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer will make recommendations to the minister for grant decisions, expected to be announced before the March state election.
The QCCF comes as the federal government considers a national quantum strategy it received from Australia’s chief scientist last month and ahead of the state’s own Quantum Technologies Action Plan.
Quantum computing was identified as being part of one of four key technology themes in the New South Wales 20-year R&D Roadmap last year. The identification means the areas will receive further government support because of the state’s strategic needs and competitive advantages.
“The quantum technology industry has the potential to generate up to $4 billion in revenue and create 16,000 jobs by 2040,” NSW chief scientist & engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said.
“Quantum technology is already revolutionising many aspects of our society and economy, including transport, health care, financial services, defence, weather modelling and cybersecurity.”
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