This page belongs to: National Quantum Strategy

Australia’s quantum opportunity

Australia’s quantum opportunity is immense. Australia is recognised as a global quantum leader, with some of the best minds in quantum research and applied technology. The government is taking action to grow the tech sector – including quantum technologies – to improve our economy’s long-term performance and the prosperity of all Australians.

The technology sector is already Australia’s third-largest industry, employing 1 in 16 workers and contributing $167 billion to our economy every year, or 8.5% of GDP. The sector is growing rapidly and is forecast to contribute $244 billion a year by 2031.

Quantum capabilities will amplify the growth of this sector and lead to entirely new kinds of technologies in the longer term. Australian quantum companies already attract significant venture capital investment compared to our international competitors, capturing a 3.6% share of global venture capital for quantum from 2017 to 2021.

Case study

Quantum supporting other economic sectors

Quantum science can be applied to improve our understanding of industrial processes.

An Australian start-up, Jovian Tech, is building process instrumentation to measure the spin-isomer ratio in hydrogen molecules. The thermophysical properties of molecular hydrogen depend critically on the spin state of the molecule.

Chemical engineers can use information from Jovian Tech to optimise hydrogen production plant operations and lower costs in the hydrogen economy.

The importance of quantum technologies extends beyond economics, jobs, and applications for business and industry. In time, quantum technologies will be an important national capability supporting our security and our way of life. Ensuring Australia has a sovereign quantum capability will let us keep pace with the latest advances and shape the evolving technology landscape in our national interest.

Realising the potential of quantum technologies will have risks and challenges. The main challenges facing Australia’s quantum sector have been identified and are addressed through this strategy (see ‘Quantum opportunities and challenges’, below).

Other challenges that need to be carefully managed include:

  • economic headwinds
  • a tightening global investment climate
  • uncertainty over development timelines and which technologies will be successful.

International competition will also create uncertainty and opportunities. Countries across the globe are investing billions into quantum technologies, and the Australian industry needs support to keep its leading position. Australia has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in establishing deep technical skills. It is now time to build on and increase these efforts while building in resilience to global changes.

Case study

Addressing transportation challenges

A busy train station platform with people leaving and boarding a train
Central Station, Sydney

In 2020 Transport for NSW approached Q-CTRL with an interest in understanding how they – as an organisation with heavy computational challenges – could put quantum computing to work for them. Many problems in managing transport services are computationally challenging – from timetabling of intersecting modes of transport to meet known patterns of demand through to dynamically routing vehicles to meet changing traffic patterns. These problems quickly grow intractable, even for advanced computing tools, as the number of ‘interacting’ modes of transport, vehicles, connection points and stops grows.

Q-CTRL took on the challenge and has focused on getting Transport for NSW quantum ready via a combination of quantum professional services and quantum control infrastructure software development. Q-CTRL worked with Transport for NSW to improve the performance of quantum algorithms relevant to transport optimisation problems and charted a path to quantum advantage.

Q-CTRL identified a new hardware-efficient algorithmic implementation which enables modelling of transport networks on near-term quantum computers using fewer computational resources than otherwise expected. The team built a custom circuit simulator to simulate multiqubit algorithms subject to the real noise endemic to near-term quantum computer hardware, and tested their prototype solutions on real cloud-accessible machines. The results demonstrated that the target mobility-as-a-service problem could really be efficiently solved by a quantum computer, even in the presence of imperfections.

Having demonstrated a real quantum advantage in large-scale network optimisation looks to be possible, Q-CTRL is currently building a custom software package for Transport for NSW. This will deliver the ability to optimize the execution of quantum algorithms for mobility-as-a-service problems to end users with expertise in transport analytics and data science.

Quantum opportunities and challenges


Building on our expertise

We can build on our existing strengths in quantum research, applied technology and promising start-ups to grow a strong quantum industry across Australia.

Sovereign capability

  • A strong quantum industry will provide Australia with the sovereign capability and expertise to drive future advancement.
  • This includes access to, or control over, the skills, technology, intellectual property and infrastructure needed for future technological advancements.

Economic growth, productivity and jobs

  • Quantum computing, communications and sensing could add $6.1 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2045.
  • These technologies will help grow our tech sector and give an advantage to businesses and industries across the Australian economy.
  • Quantum could create sustainable, inclusive and well-paid jobs. By 2030, the Australian quantum sector could create around 8,700 jobs, rising to 19,400 by 2045. The growth of the sector would also support employment across the wider economy, with a total investment impact of over 35,000 jobs by 2045.

International destination

Australia can become a destination for international talent and promote the key capabilities that will let local industries succeed. A thriving and trusted domestic ecosystem will be essential for retaining Australia’s talent.



  • Attracting early-stage long-term capital is becoming difficult in the current global investment climate.
  • Investors are uncertain about development timelines and which technologies to support.
  • Research and industry need stronger coordination and collaboration to identify the applications that will increase uptake and investment.

Infrastructure and supply chains

Growth is constrained by limited access to advanced infrastructure such as:

  • noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers and prototyping facilities
  • quantum materials and tools such as precision machining equipment.

National interest

  • Countries across the globe are investing billions into quantum technologies and competing for quantum talent.
  • Quantum technologies can impact national security, including cyber security.
  • Australia could be locked out of cutting-edge technology if it does not invest in its own capabilities, or develop capabilities needed by the world.
  • Regulatory frameworks need to remain fit for purpose and responsive to technological developments so they can protect our national interest and ensure ongoing trust and confidence from the Australian public.

Skills, talent and business capability

  • Growing our quantum sector depends on a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce and an effective talent pipeline.
  • Australian research institutes and quantum companies have to compete with other countries for the best and brightest minds.
  • To harness these opportunities, businesses and their workers will need to be quantum-ready and quantum‑literate.

Quantum technologies boosting the economy

The global quantum computing market is estimated to grow at a compound rate of more than 30% a year over the next 5 years. 

In Australia, conservative estimates forecast revenue from quantum computing, communications and sensing could be worth $5.9 billion by 2045. Quantum technology development could contribute $6.1 billion to GDP by the same year. This includes $2.4 billion in indirect benefits due to productivity gains.

The quantum technology industry could directly employ 19,400 people. Adopting quantum technology could create more than 35,000 jobs across the economy by 2045.

Economic contribution of quantum technologies by 2045. Source: Centre for International Economics

Line graph. Text description follows

This graph shows the projected economic contribution of quantum technologies to the Australian economy by 2045. The following metrics start from close to zero in 2022 and increase dramatically from the early 2030s:

  • gross value of product

  • total contribution to Australian GDP

  • industry value added

  • direct employment

  • total contribution to Australian employment.

The size of Australia’s quantum opportunity depends on how quickly we can develop and adopt quantum technologies. If we can rapidly develop quantum technologies, and they are widely adopted by industry and business, these technologies could add as much as $9 billion to Australia’s economy and generate over 50,000 jobs by 2045.[1]

Technology development projections. Source: Centre for International Economics

Line graph. Text description follows

The graph shows the projected contribution to GDP and total employment generated by the adoption and use of quantum technologies in 3 scenarios: low, central and high. Each of the trendlines has a similar s-shaped profile.

All 3 scenarios start at $61.4 million and 498 employees in 2022.

The low scenario increases to $2.5 billion and 14,484 employees by 2045.

The central scenario increases to $6.1 billion and 35,243 employees by 2045.

The high scenario increases to $9.04 billion and 52,153 employees by 2045.

A growing quantum sector will have significant direct benefits for the Australian economy. But quantum technologies will have an even greater economic impact on other sectors, providing an advantage to Australian industries. Quantum sensors are already transforming industries, including mining, where quantum sensors are used detect minerals.

Quantum could have a greater impact on technology than the transition from vacuum tubes to semiconductors had on conventional computing.

Case study

Using quantum sensors to find minerals

LANDTEM is an Australian technology developed by CSIRO that uses quantum sensors to detect magnetic fields that are 100 millionth of the size of earth’s magnetic fields. This makes LANDTEM ideal for finding deep bodies of highly conducting ores, including nickel sulphide, copper and silver. It differentiates the target ore from other material, even when buried deep underground.

LANDTEM improves mineral exploration outcomes. It has helped discover more than $10 billion of ore deposits around the world with $4 billion of these discoveries located in Australia.

LANDTEM has been used by Glencore, Legend Mining, Mincor Resources, Western Areas, Aeris Resources and companies in Canada. Legend Mining, for example, has most recently announced detection of new prospective nickel copper deposits in September 2022.

Clients have seen LANDTEM reduce their operational costs of exploration by up to 30%.

Case study

Improved efficiency in global banking

A major global bank, with an extensive virtual machine deployment hosting a range of banking services, was experiencing delays and the potential for duplicate keys used by the cryptographic processes for securing data and communication. Working with Quintessence Labs, a quantum random number generation (QRNG) solution was explored to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality randomness consumed by the cryptographic processes running in the virtual machines.

The QRNG network appliances were deployed in all of the bank’s data centres around the world, delivering entropy as a service. Previously, during busy periods, login and cryptographically intensive operations had response delays of several tens of seconds. After the QRNG solution, response times improved by up to 100 times. QRNG lowered the virtual machine instances of duplicate keys from 2.5% to none.

The solution gave the bank clear visibility of demand for randomness across the whole organisation.


  1. High, central and low projections reflect different published estimates of how quickly quantum technologies may develop and be adopted by industries. The central projection aligns with CSIRO’s 2045 forecasts.