Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced £80m funding for Scottish universities and businesses to develop quantum technology to save lives in search-and-rescue missions, hostage situations, and firefighting.
Quantum imaging technology could be used to help emergency services get a more accurate, live and high-quality image before embarking on rescue attempts.
The technology will also be used to see through snow storms, around corners and map hidden underground hazards.
The Chancellor explained: “The UK is a world leader in Quantum technologies, but others are investing hard to catch up with us.
“The £80 million in new funding, that I have announced today will ensure that we remain at the forefront of this exciting technological revolution.
“Technological leadership boosts our economy and our productivity, meaning higher growth and higher wages.”
Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Quantum computing promises to transform our lives and solve problems that today’s computers are unable to address.
“Thanks to our National Quantum Technology Programme and this new funding from government we are extremely well placed to pioneer this groundbreaking innovation.”
Chief executive of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport, said: “Quantum Technologies hold great promise for the UK. Researchers at our Hubs are already exploring new methods for more accurate measurement and sensing, expanding the power of computing, and making communications quicker and more secure.
“This new funding for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme will provide reassurance to the research base and the industries in the field that the UK is serious about being a world leader in the field and is investing long term.”
Subject to approvals, the funding will give certainty to researchers and students, and help attract more investment and jobs to the local area.
Science, research and innovation is at the core of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which outlines ambitions to raise private and public sector investment in R&D by 2.4% by 2027.
Other areas of quantum technology that will be focused on include: the Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub, currently led by Oxford; the Quantum Sensing and Metrology Hub, currently led by Birmingham; and the Quantum Communications Hub, currently led by York.
The Chancellor also announced at least £25m will be made available to UK industry to develop next generation (5G) mobile technology in specific sectors of the economy.
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