This page belongs to: National Quantum Strategy

Theme 2: Securing access to essential quantum infrastructure and materials

The Australian Government will:

  • ensure that Australia’s quantum infrastructure supporting research and development meets the needs of Australia’s quantum ecosystem, now and into the future
  • be bold and ambitious in supporting the growth of new quantum infrastructure, including building the world’s first error-corrected quantum computer in Australia.

Immediate actions

Action 2.1 

Conduct a national audit of quantum-related infrastructure enabling quantum research. The audit will identify capability gaps and areas for dedicated investment, including access to quantum computing capabilities.

Action 2.2 

Actively monitor supply chain challenges and opportunities affecting Australia’s quantum industries and move to address these wherever possible.

What we’ve heard

Australian researchers, start-ups and quantum businesses need advanced infrastructure, materials and tools to build a thriving quantum ecosystem across research, development and manufacturing.

Infrastructure and material needs differ across the quantum sector. For example:

  • accessing existing quantum computing capabilities could help develop use cases for quantum technologies
  • growing and effectively using existing manufacturing facilities will help translate research into applications
  • access to flexible fabrication plants may help quantum researchers and start-ups access cheaper components and grow.

Reliable access to resilient and trusted domestic and international supply chains is also essential for a successful Australian quantum sector. Quantum technologies use mass-produced components, such as semiconductors, that are in high demand across the world. They also need bespoke components that are available from single sources or specialist manufacturers.

The Australian quantum industry relies on complex global supply chains for key materials and components. These complex global supply chains are vulnerable to disruption, resulting in unpredictable availability and costs. Australia could analyse future supply chain needs and identify areas where it can become a world leader, helping grow ongoing supply in the future.

Action impacts

These immediate actions address the challenges and opportunities identified in this strategy by:

  • improving access to advanced infrastructure, materials and tools. This will drive growth and ensure Australia’s quantum ecosystem’s needs are met now and in the future
  • providing more shared quantum infrastructure for research, development and domestic manufacturing
  • growing a strong local quantum industry with sovereign capability and expertise to drive economic growth, productivity and jobs
  • capitalising on our world-class infrastructure to make Australia an attractive destination for international talent.
Case study

Access to infrastructure enables quantum start-ups

Photo of an extremely complicated machine in a lab
A cryogenic dilution refrigerator in the Superconducting Quantum Devices Laboratory at the University of Queensland. Credit: Arkady Feodrov, University of Queensland

Analog Quantum Circuits (AQC) is an Australian quantum start-up focused on superconducting quantum hardware. AQC is based on research in superconducting microwave devices, which was supported by the Australian Research Council through Future Fellowships and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS).

AQC’s establishment faced 2 major challenges commonly experienced by other start-ups seeking to commercialise university research. AQC experienced difficulties in securing access to university-held intellectual property that underpins their research and development. They also experienced challenges accessing the necessary facilities for fabrication, process control and cryogenic measurement to undertake development of advanced hardware.

Gaps in the research and development pipeline create challenges for AQC and other start-ups seeking to become operational. For example, there are currently no openly accessible industry cryogenic measurement facilities in Australia available for use by quantum technology companies. Where advanced facilities do exist, access can be costly and have long lead times. While universities host some equipment that is industry accessible, this does not cover the full range of requirements for a vibrant quantum technology industry.

Research infrastructure

The Australian Government has invested in a range of research infrastructure, some of which could be used to improve access for quantum researchers and businesses.

The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) is maintaining Australia’s position as a global research leader by ensuring researchers can access cutting-edge infrastructure. Continuing to invest in NCRIS, guided by the 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, will ensure this infrastructure evolves to meet the needs of quantum researchers.

Current NCRIS projects that could improve access for quantum researchers include the following:

Case study

Transitioning from the lab to future applications

Photo of a device encased in large metal rings and bathed in green light
Testing the performance of a nitrogen-vacancy diamond-based vector magnetometer at the University of Melbourne Quantum Magnetometer Test and Measurement Facility. Credit: Chris Lew, University of Melbourne

Phasor Innovation is an Australian quantum business specialising in:

  • radio frequency and microwave engineering
  • electromagnetics
  • system integration
  • quantum technologies.

Phasor Innovation is collaborating with the University of Melbourne and RMIT University on researching and developing the next generation of diamond-based quantum sensors. There are a range of new and emerging applications for this technology in many areas including the defence, mining, space and medical sectors.

The collaborative university and industry team successfully competed in the inaugural Army Quantum Technology Challenge in 2021 and are currently working together on a subsequent project to design, construct, test and evaluate a quantum diamond-based vector magnetometer that will provide improved surveillance and detection of subterranean targets. The team has also received funding from Defence to further develop the technology for precision magnetic navigation in GNSS‑denied environments.