The UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has made £33m (€36.54m) available for businesses commercialising quantum technologies.
The funding will be distributed as grants for winners of the fund’s Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge; and has been divided into two categories:
- £27m (€29.88m) is available for large collaborative research projects run by consortia with operating costs between £2m and £20m, which must be ready to launch on or before June 2020, with a projected timeframe between 18 and 36 months. Projects must show commercially viable solutions and demonstrate clear evidence of performance; and
- £6m (€6.64m) has been made available for smaller projects – both individual and joint enterprises – with operating costs of less than £500,000, or £50,000 for market research projects. Successful projects must be ready to start on or before April 2020 and must last between six and 18 months; and must explore a commercial opportunity with quantifiable performance objectives.
Both tranches of funding specify that applicants must be both based in the UK and intend to carry out their projects in the UK, as well as intending to exploit the project’s results either in or from the UK. Bodies applying for challenge funding must also include at least one micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME). In order to be eligible for the Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge, projects must contribute to accelerating the commercialisation of second generation quantum technology by addressing one of the following challenges:
- Developing techniques for data storage security and connectivity;
- Investigating the potential of transformational computing to solve issues which are currently considered unmanageable; and
- Exploring situational awareness, including autonomous systems; infrastructure and transport; sensors and detection technology to be deployed in the built environment; and the sensing and imaging of things which are currently considered to be invisible.
The Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge will open for applications on 5 August 2019; and will close on 30 October 2019.