Up to $1M is available to inform Defence of the potential benefits and practical limitations of quantum technologies through studies and demonstrator systems within three years.
Next Generation Technologies Fund Quantum Technologies
Quantum Technologies is a Priority Theme of the Next Generation Technologies Fund, aimed at realising the potential game changing capabilities afforded by developments in quantum science. It recognises the need for Defence to respond to this technology opportunity, and that technological advances in the quantum domain are likely to lead to the introduction of new capabilities in our region.
Quantum technologies could bring game changing advantages for Defence, in areas including timing, sensing and navigation capabilities, communications and quantum computing. The Federal Government has announced a $6 million investment for industry, academia and government research agencies to contribute to the development of quantum technologies for Defence.
The research aims to accelerate the exploitation of quantum technologies in a range of applications, such as highly accurate time-keeping and advanced Global Positioning System (GPS)-independent navigation.
Quantum Technology Themes
Research in Quantum Technologies will be pursued along three main lines of effort:
- Quantum Sensing, Navigation and Timing;
- Quantum Communications; and
- Quantum Computing and Information.
The research will be successful if, within three years, it informs Defence on the areas of quantum technology development of most relevance, and delivers prototype systems warranting continued development.
Larger proposals are expected to receive funding up to $1,000,000 (in total) over three years depending on scale, complexity and risk.
Quantum Technologies is seeking proposals from industry, academia and government research agencies to contribute to the potential development of Defence relevant quantum technologies. Two categories of proposal will be considered:
- Smaller proposals which deliver studies to inform Defence on the applications, feasibility, and practical limitations of quantum technologies; and
- Larger proposals which address the development of concepts, algorithms, and/or technology demonstrators and which contribute to the development of Defence relevant capabilities.
Proposals should address one or more of the following priority areas:
Quantum Sensing, Navigation and Timing
- Quantum clocks for ultra-accurate timing and synchronisation: (i) Maintain timing synchronisation over periods of days to weeks; (ii) Accurate clocks with low Size, Weight and Power (SWAP); (iii) Step-change improvement in navigation, imaging, object detection and communications.
- Quantum sensors for navigation, object, and chemical detection, including: (i) Atom interferometry based inertial navigation; (ii) Detection of objects and underground structures; (iii) Identification of materials such as explosives and biological agents.
- Quantum imagers, including: (i) Quantum radar/ladar for significant increases in resolution, noise performance and countermeasure resistance; (ii) detection and imaging using single photon detection technologies.
- Development of quantum communication capabilities for free space applications.
- Using entanglement as a resource to facilitate secure and efficient transmission of information between quantum entities separated by operationally relevant distances.
- Studies on the practical limitations of quantum communications in optical fibre and/or the free space channel.
Quantum Computing and Information
- Quantum computation algorithms that efficiently solve classically hard problems and integrate with classical computation systems, with applications in areas such as resource optimisation, machine learning and data analytics, imaging, and simulation of complex physical systems.
- Studies on the practical applications of quantum computing to Defence, encompassing qubits, quantum memory, decoherence mitigation, error-correction and control of quantum systems, and integration with classical computing.
Proposals are sought for up to three years duration. Outcomes will be tied to agreed deliverables and subject to ongoing review.
Larger proposals should include a description of the context of the research within the broader quantum technologies landscape and should outline proposed areas of Defence application.
Applications close 13 February 2018.