The UK Innovation Strategy sets out the government’s vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035. Its fourth pillar, ‘missions and technologies’, establishes a clear strategic aim to stimulate innovation to tackle major challenges faced by the UK and the world and to drive capability in key technologies.
The Innovation Strategy makes clear that these 2 critical elements of the UK innovation landscape are complementary. It outlines that new, emerging technologies can be pivotal in solving major challenges and opportunities, while in turn, missions can:
- help to bring profile and significance to technological innovation
- support diffusion of new technologies
This missions approach sets inspiring and stretching targets which focus the efforts of research, industry, and government stakeholders on complex problems with a coordinated approach for successful delivery.
This model will ensure that each Technology Mission to be supported has a clear direction and efforts are aligned across the private sector and research community. This is anticipated to create spill over-benefits including the attraction of significant private investment and the creation and retention of additional capacity and expertise within each technology area within the UK.
This funding opportunity is part of the quantum computing mission within the wider National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).
The projects funded through the quantum computing mission will:
- ensure UK leadership in this pioneering area of computing, backing ideas and people at scale, and helping to make the UK a science superpower
- maintain sovereign or assured capabilities in the UK and enable the government to be an intelligent customer of future quantum computing services.
- create a sustainable UK quantum industry to deliver commercially accessible computational quantum advantage by 2030
- establish the UK as the worlds’ leading quantum ready nation, driving discovery across the economy that saves lives and increases productivity longer-term, whilst protecting national security
The mission is being delivered through 2 layers of activity:
Enabling foundational activity
This opportunity sits within the enabling foundational activity. It ensures the ecosystem can deliver meaningful transition to incorporate new application of these technologies, by funding foundational research that may lead to new scientific discoveries, or by establishing or maintaining strategic advantage through capability in science and technology.
Application centred challenges
This strand focuses on increasing commercialisation readiness of established discoveries or innovations, with a view to broadening their applications or increasing adoption.
This opportunity addresses the enabling foundational activity aspects of the quantum computing mission.
National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP)
The NQTP was established in 2014 to make the UK a global leader in the development and commercialisation of quantum technology, which is set to transform the global society and economy.
The NQTP strategic intent sets out the programme’s ambitions for the next 10 years, including the following overall aims:
- stimulate market growth, unleash innovation and grow a thriving ecosystem
- maintain the UK’s excellence in research and technology
- build a resilient network of national assets and mutually beneficial international relationships
- grow, attract, and retain talent
The strategic intent also further sets out the following specific objectives in relation to maintaining the UK’s excellence in research and technology:
- continue to build on existing excellence to strengthen our global position in research, build the skills pipeline and open-up new opportunities for technological convergence, enabling work across disciplines to unlock innovation
- as an enabling technology we will develop new quantum tools and opportunities for wider science applications.
You can download the NQTP Strategic Intent from NQTP resources.
EPSRC are a key partner within the NQTP and share the ambition to maintain the UK’s reputation as an excellent place to do research.
EPSRC forms an integral part of the international landscape in quantum technologies.
EPSRC funded a national network of 4 quantum technology hubs through a £120 million investment in phase 1 (2014 to 2019) and a £94 million investment in phase 2 (2019 to 2024) to harness the UK’s strengths in quantum science by turning this into strength in quantum technologies.
The hubs cultivate strong links with international partners and facilitate collaboration across the breadth of the quantum technology landscape.
EPSRC continues to deliver opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration through standard mode, lead agency opportunities and other strategic funding opportunities.
This focus has set the UK apart from the international competition, but the UK needs to continue moving forward as technological developments gather pace.
National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)
The NQCC is a new research institution funded through UKRI, which is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scalability.
Working with partners across industry, government and the research community, the NQCC will create the necessary research and development capabilities through coordination and delivery of a technical programme, alongside the commissioning and operation of new facilities.
The programme will deliver assured quantum computing capability, enabling the UK to remain internationally competitive.
The centre will be headquartered in a purpose-built facility at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory campus in Oxfordshire, which is due for completion in 2023.
EPSRC is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.
We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise.
Grant additional conditions (PDF, 68KB)
Equality impact assessment (PDF, 82KB)