back to article UK.gov has £12m to help kick-start quantum techs that could be 'adopted at scale' – which is pretty niche, if we're honest

The UK government yesterday waved around some pocket change aimed at making forever-nearly-here quantum technologies a reality. The plan is to take a £12m chunk from the £153m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and invest it in quantum technologies that would leave traditional investors cold from a risk standpoint, but …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Of Charlatans and Wannabe Masters of the Universe Everywhere Fighting for their Own Future Survival

    The funding amounts on offer are, frankly, drops in the ocean compared to how much the likes of Microsoft have invested over the years. .... Richard Speed

    Massive amounts of funding quite obviously squandered, Richard, given the dire product of their research? And that suggests they be paying all the wrong sort of folk.

    1. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Of Charlatans and Wannabe Masters... Etc.

      Aha AMFM. That last sentence has a faintly West Country scan to it.

      Anyway, all the right sort of folk have spotted Brexit coming (Yaay! Got in first!) and are now returning to Europe.

      Anybody seen my cat? I left it in my coat pocket.

  2. 7alken

    well, thats chance for disclosures about scammy pseudoresearch crazies in this area ))

  3. SVV Silver badge

    Get your proposals in!

    My quantum AI cloud app could synergise business critical interactions across a heterogenous multi vendor platform, allowing business and government big data analysis to achieve operational efficiency targets and utilise a diverse array of potential client-centric gains to maximise information quantum thesholds.

    Or it might not, as it's quantum, remember. But spaff the cash up my wall anyway if you don't want to miss the chance of a first class ticket on the quantum spaceship.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Get your proposals in! The early bird captivates the worm ......

      Here's another proposal for grant funding, SVV, and with a lot more information made clearly not invisible ..... A little bit about what all here is about ….

      Surely that must be at least worthy of a scrawny £2 million punt? :-)

      Now surely all that needs to be done is to mention that all of this may do better shared somewhere else provided here

      Surely governments do not think a fundamentally different future with have any dire need of their failing and taxing services. Other than, that is, as evidence in a recall and presentation of use and/or systemic abuse and wilful wanton misuse.

      I can't see many volunteering to travel deep down that top root route if sharing deep and dark secrets already well enough known rather than ensuring protection from the Future with everything immaculately well hidden or expunged. .........with Exciting Confinement in Vaulted Barracks a Much Sought After Reward/Prize and Just Dessert :-)

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Get your proposals in!

      Sorry SVV but my app is a Quantum AI Blockchain Entangled and is Totally Disruptive, so get behind me in the queue.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Beware of Misunderestimations and Snake Oil Sales.

        Sorry SVV but my app is a Quantum AI Blockchain Entangled and is Totally Disruptive, so get behind me in the queue. .... Chris G

        Get in behind us in the queue would create stealthy phantoms and provide exciting protection for principal proactions, Chris G.

        Surely you are not contemplating being left all alone and ahead leading in fields of particular and peculiar overwhelming interest with zero competition or opposition?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quantum technology is in the eye of the beholder

    Quantum technology, not unlike practical fusion power generation ..., is one of those things that promises much, but has singularly failed to deliver.

    The outcome of that particular judgement is rather dependent on how one defines "quantum technology". For example, atomic clocks are unquestionably a very useful technology; they are based on quantum transitions and draw on many decades of research in spectroscopy and quantum mechanics. High-temperature superconductors (and all other superconductors, for that matter) are very much based on quantum mechanics; making new and better ones does require a very good understanding of their quantum properties (among many other things!). One might argue that these superconductors are a rather handy technology. Most lasers (with a possible exception of free-electron lasers, which are a bit special) are quite certainly quantum devices; designing lasing medium with the desired parameters _is_ a non-trivial quantum problem (and a rather hard materials engineering problem). I do find lasers a rather useful technology. We can keep going - quantum Hall sensors? quantum key distribution? specroscopic remote-sensing techniques? magnetic-resonance imaging? OLEDs? All rather useful, all rely on quantum effects and our understanding of those. In my book, these are all "quantum technologies".

    Of course, the ISCF funding call uses a narrower definition of "quantum technologies": ... quantum technologies including:

    - connectivity: techniques for securing data in storage and in flight

    - situational awareness: this includes autonomous systems, sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure, and imaging and sensing to “see things currently invisible”

    - computing: transformational computers for solving currently intractable problems

    [https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commercialising-quantum-technologies-opportunity-to-invest]

    Even with this narrow definition, we already have quite a few quantum technologies in widespread use - e.g. radioactive-decay based random number generators (quite useful for securing data); IR- and UV-based remote sensing, various spectroscopic techniques for medical imaging; and so on.

    I know it is the ground-state of El Reg's being to be cynical, and I fully approve of this state of affairs, but in this case it seems a little over-egged.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Quantum technology is in the eye of the beholder

      Yep. I forgot to mention in my post below, but a scammy/pseudio/fake funding exercise is fake in it's own reason (if so), and not on the technologies "realness".

      If QM is real or not, has no effect on peoples ability to still make fake funding claims/proposals. So for Reg to conflate the two, is poor form from them.

      The list of legit quantum technologies is massive. If this funding system instead chases the fake ones, then Reg should point that out, instead of being thick headed and pretending quantum mechanics/technology is joojoo.

  5. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Huh?

    "Quantum technology, not unlike practical fusion power generation (something the government stuffed £20m into earlier this month), is one of those things that promises much, but has singularly failed to deliver. "

    Huh? No. It has not. Progress is slow. But it is there. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It calculates probability distributions, mainly so you can "simulate" other quantum effects. Otherwise, it allows you to do some calculations quicker (travelling salesman) but with some probabilities distributed (some uncertainty in the result, unless you can figure out robust quantum circuits and results).

    This means, say for example, a protein folding requirement to make a medicine, you can simulate and design a protein. Theoretically it should be quicker on a quantum computer than a standard one (providing we can set up the QM computer quicker than it takes the standard one to spit out a result, which is not a given just yet).

    Yep, that result possibly won't be 100% accurate (quantum uncertainty, or probability distribution), but as it's a medicine design, you are still producing physical tests to narrow it down.

    Alternatively, it could be used to crack encryption, with again, similar results. There are currently chips with a few dozen Q-bits, so giving a few more years, we could see 100s or 1000s of Q-bits, and finally hit a "useful" use case, beyond the current simple research.

    Unlike Fusion, which has real physical limitations we may/may not overcome, Quantum Computers are a simple continual progress as we already saw from classic Microchips. It's just a matter of time with QM chips... slow, but sure!

  6. Nick Kew

    A drop in the ocean ... but is it cumulative? If for example recipients can combine it with tax

    breaks for investors in R&D efforts, it could be good for someone.

    And having government money can add a little credibility to a crowdfunding campaign.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Keeping IT Seriously Simple

    Usually, secretive disruptive things to market are normally, first and foremost, a military target for heavily protected secret military use and /or abuse and misuse. And they have more money than anyone to spend on maintaining themselves and containing enemies now easily able to virtually annihilate them. And that must be quite disconcerting.

    Well, if the MOD need to know more about all best safe to know and not know of Moving Invisible Targets, they know where to Go/Come and be Registered.

    And such would be as a True Recording of Events that Surprisingly Easily Transpire in the Captivation of Almighty Moving Invisible Targets.

    Not too easy that for the MOD though, is it? Alien Engagement with Superior Weaponised Systems Administrations?

    The Answer to that Minor Hurdle is Simplicity itself ..... Buy it in from wherever it comes and from whomever are delighted to server its servers' needs and wishes/feeds and seeds.

    There's bound to Black Money Slush Fund/Flash Cash Crash Stash specifically designed to Capture and Captivate/Command and Control such an Uncanny Unruly Beast ..... making it then sort of Officially and Ideally, an Semi Official Invisible Bargain for Future Control of Remote Virtual Being with Advanced IntelAIgent Sensory Perception in Bespoke Realities Delivered via Sublime Internets Networking Prime Future Near Perfect AudioVisual Product. ...... for Alternative Creative Mass Media Programs and Projects rather than for any Current Defaulted to Destructive Pogram with Rape and Pillage Adored and Adorned and Onboard.

    Ye Olde To the Victor the Spoils of War Feast for the Debauched and Gluttonous Script.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    When Everything is Just a Short Matter of Time .... What Would You Do Next?

    Is it any wonder that novel and disruptive viable future technology has no interest in propping up a seriously bankrupt of leading ideas UKGBNI government machine/petty conservative regime/failing state legislature ..... whenever 25 cents for a dollar's worth of intelligence/innovation/initiative is all they can offer almighty risk-taking future builders. What on Earth are they thinking/smoking in the West?

    Are similar such shenanigans perpetrated by intellectually challenged government state and non-government state actors in the Exotic and Erotic East or is true worth recognised and realised with generous empowering engagement with deserved full payment for services and outcomes provided?

    Go East to be Feasted and Feted, Stay West to be Bested and Bettered?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Hoops and Hurdles for Monkeys to Jump Through and Over for Peanuts

      WTFSNAFUBAR* ........ https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/432/overview#eligibility ...... and sadly and madly, apparent par for dodgy government courses chasing vital virulent virtual missions and/or innovative projects exploiting new quantum technologies

      * ..... What The Fcuk Situation Normal All Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Hoops and Hurdles for Monkeys to Jump Through and Over for Peanuts

        Blimey, something about 'quantum' has got amfM's diodes all in a twist. Maybe it's trying to tell us something?

        What's that Skip? The kids fell down the quantum well?!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nor 10 Downing St (-:

    Ten. Neither Nine, nor Eleven. Ten. Mirrored. Quantum-echoing, strings-entangled. Forget "The Spiral".

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