This page belongs to: National Quantum Strategy

Quantum technologies

Quantum science describes the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. Quantum behaviours – particularly quantisation, superposition and entanglement – can be used to build advanced technologies that would otherwise seem impossible.

Quantum technologies are developing rapidly with researchers regularly identifying new applications. While some quantum technologies like computing are still emerging, others are already in everyday use. Australia has already led breakthroughs in areas such as:

  • quantum theory
  • quantum optics
  • semiconductor and superconducting devices
  • atomic physics
  • precision timing and sensing
  • cybersecurity.

The National Quantum Strategy addresses the full spectrum of quantum technologies. It provides a pathway for growing applications that are close to being commercialised, such as quantum sensors. It will also set Australia up for success in longer-term applications such as quantum computing.

Different technologies will mature and be ready for commercial applications at different times over the next 10 years, and beyond. Some technologies will not have a simple or quick path from research to commercialisation.

The strategy also recognises the importance of building foundational capabilities for quantum technologies, including software engineering, applications and algorithms. See the appendix for a description of quantum technologies.

Estimated horizon of quantum technologies

Less than 5 years

Quantum sensing technologies

  • Quantum magnetometers
  • Quantum gravity sensors
  • Quantum timing sensors

Quantum communications technologies

  • Quantum random number generators
  • Quantum key distribution

Quantum computing technologies

  • Quantum annealers
  • Bespoke quantum simulators
  • Simple noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers

Quantum-related technologies

  • Post-quantum cryptography

5 to 10 years

Quantum sensing technologies

  • Quantum inertial sensors
  • Quantum electromagnetic sensors

Quantum communications technologies

  • Quantum networking

Quantum computing technologies

  • More-complex noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers

10 to 20 years

Quantum sensing technologies

  • Photon entanglement imaging

Quantum computing technologies

  • Fault-tolerant programmable quantum computers

More than 20 years

Quantum communications technologies

  • Quantum internet

Quantum computing technologies

  • Cryptographically relevant fully fault tolerant universal gate quantum computers