Gov announces National Quantum Advisory Committee

The Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, has announced the 15-person National Quantum Advisory Committee to help drive the National Quantum Strategy.

The committee, which will be chaired by Australia’s chief scientist Cathy Foley, will be a part of the push to coordinate the national quantum capability across research, industry and government, with plans for the strategy to be announced by the end of the year.

According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) estimates, quantum technology in Australia could be a $4 billion industry with approximately 16,000 jobs by 2040 in computing, communications and sensing.

The minister also announced that a $1 billion critical technologies fund, which is a part of the National Reconstruction Fund, would be available to support quantum industries.

“Australia is a recognised global leader in quantum technology and research. We cannot afford to let that competitive advantage slip,” Husic said.

“We need to ensure we embed quantum capability and value here in Australia. As Minister, it is not my job to say what can’t be done, but to drive ambition for what we can achieve together in quantum technology.”

In November 2021, the Government announced a $111 million investment to back a national quantum technology future “supporting the commercialisation, adoption and use of this new technology to create jobs, support Australian business and keep Australians safe”.

The quantum investment at the time of announcement included $70 million for the Quantum Commercialisation Hub to foster strategic partnerships “with likeminded countries to commercialise Australia’s quantum research and help Australian businesses access new markets and investors”.

The government also released the Blueprint and Action Plan for Critical Technologies, identifying quantum technologies as one of the Government’s nine technologies for initial focus.

It was also announced at that time that the strategy would be informed by a National Committee on Quantum, comprised of a group of industry stakeholders and experts led by Dr Cathy Foley.

The members of the advisory committee would include:

Professor Michael Biercuk, Q-CTRL, University of Sydney
Ms Clare Birch, Blackbird
Dr Simon Devitt, UTS, h-Bar
Professor Bronwyn Fox, CSIRO Chief Scientist
Professor Lloyd Hollenberg, University of Melbourne IBM Quantum Hub
Professor Andre Luiten, QuantX Labs, University of Adelaide
Professor Tanya Monro, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist
Professor Ed Santow, Human Technology Institute, UTS
Dr Vikram Sharma, Australian Quantum Alliance (Tech Council of Australia) and Quintessence Labs
Professor Michelle Simmons, Silicon Quantum Computing, UNSW
Mr Mark Stickells, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
Professor Peter Turner, Sydney Quantum Academy, Macquarie University
Ms Jennifer Westacott, Business Council of Australia
Professor Andrew White, University of Queensland and ARC Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems