Chancellor announces quantum and 5G investments on Strathclyde University visit

quantumGlasgow is set to receive a share of an £80m investment in quantum technology research that could save lives, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced today on a visit to Strathclyde University.

The funding over five years to four UK development centres, including Glasgow, will support the creation of technology that could help save more lives in search-and-rescue missions, hostage situations and help firefighters tackling a blaze.

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 could also be used to see through snow storms, around corners and to map hidden underground hazards.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, met Strathclyde researchers in the university’s Technology and Innovation Centre, the cornerstone of the growing Glasgow City Innovation District. “The UK is a world leader in quantum technologies, but others are investing hard to catch up with us,” said Hammond.

“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.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, the university’s principal, added: “Quantum technology opens the door to many new possibilities, from more efficient drug discovery and space applications, to vastly improving communication and safety.”

While on campus, the Chancellor also announced at least £25m be made available to UK industry to develop next generation (5G) mobile technology in specific sectors of the economy. The Technology and Innovation Centre and wider Glasgow City Innovation District are home to growing clusters of collaborative research in areas including 5G and quantum technology.

Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport, commented: “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.”