The new investment will better support the government’s commitment to creating 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030. It will also increase local capacity and capability, and drive uptake of these priority technologies.
This adds to the $1 billion already set aside for critical technologies through the National Reconstruction Fund, announced in the October 2022 Budget.
The new measure provides a range of support through programs and grants for quantum and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
Investing in quantum capability
The government has committed $40.2 million to deliver a Critical Technologies Challenge Program.
This initiative will drive greater awareness and uptake of quantum technologies in Australia by creating stronger ties between quantum researchers, companies, industry, and other parts of society. We’ll design the program in close collaboration with industry and research institutions to ensure projects:
- meet a genuine need
- are challenging but achievable
- fill a ready market.
Projects that use quantum computing will be an initial focus.
The measure also commits $19.8 million to establish the Australian Centre for Quantum Growth. The centre will support research and development of a quantum technology industry in Australia. This will help catalyse demand for quantum technologies and help Australian companies capture a share of the emerging global market.
Investing in responsible AI
The government has committed $41.2 million to support the responsible deployment of AI in the national economy. This includes setting the National Artificial Intelligence Centre on a more sustainable footing to support the Responsible AI Network. This will strengthen AI governance and industry capability.
The investment includes launching the $17 million Responsible AI Adopt Program. This program will fund eligible businesses to run a centre to support small to medium enterprises (SMEs) without AI expertise to adopt AI technologies. This will help SMEs maintain or improve competitiveness in interstate or international markets.
Grants of $3 million to $5 million will be available. Applicants will be expected to provide a matching contribution.