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Australia to invest $73 mln in quantum science as critical technology

FILE PHOTO: Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks as national statements are made during the World Summit of Heads of State or Government at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 1, 2021. Ian Forsyth / Pool via REUTERS / FILE PHOTO

CANBERRA, Nov. 17 (Reuters) – Australia is set to spend A $ 100 million ($ 73 million) on quantum technology development, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday as Canberra identified nine technology areas it believes are more vital to national interests Meaning are.

Quantum technology, which is based on core physics principles, is still in its infancy but has become a darling of investors looking to revolutionize industries from healthcare and finance to artificial intelligence and weather forecasting.

In recent months, Australia has pledged to spend billions of dollars to modernize its economy and reduce reliance on China by boosting production in industries like resources and critical minerals, and helping the development of low-carbon technologies.

To accelerate its economic plan, Australia will support nine technologies, the first of which is quantum technology. Most of the A $ 100 million promised will be used to commercialize Australia’s quantum science and create links with global markets and supply chains.

“Quantum science and technology have the potential to revolutionize a number of industries,” said Morrison in a speech on Wednesday.

The announcement was welcomed by the Australian information technology sector.

“Quantum technology has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar industry that will create thousands of jobs in Australia,” said Ron Gauci, CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association.

Morrison said other technologies that will be supported include advanced cybersecurity, communications, mineral extraction, autonomous vehicles and novel antibiotics.

But he also warned of the ethical implications of such new developments.

“We have to ask ourselves what to do with technology – not just what can be done,” said Morrison.

($ 1 = 1.3633 Australian dollars)

Reporting from Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry

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