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The SFC-funded Alliances for Research Challenges (ARCs) programme took a further step forward today with the announcement of a new alliance for quantum technologies.

Joining the previously-announced alliances for brain health, energy and food, the quantum technologies project will receive up to £600,000 of SFC funding over the next four years. The investment will enable it to create multi-disciplinary, cross-sector teams to strengthen and accelerate bids for major research grants, including funding from overseas.

The ARCs programme is designed to address some of the biggest questions facing the Scottish Government and governments across the world. Quantum technology has the potential to provide breakthroughs in areas such as medical diagnostics and zero-carbon energy production, as well as computing and communications.

The new alliance will build on Scotland’s established strengths in quantum science and technology and create the skills base needed to realise future benefits.

In a joint statement ARC co-leads, Dr Ashley Lyons and Dr Sam Bayliss, said:

“We are seeing rapid and remarkable developments in using quantum-mechanical features of the world to enable practical technologies, with Scotland being a key player in this progress.

“The key to realising the potential benefits of such technologies is a holistic approach which creates dialogue between market-driven challenges; cutting-edge research – including in subjects such as the arts, humanities, and social sciences – and wider society.

“Thanks to this ARC, we are in a special position to be able to achieve this, and create a new, interdisciplinary hub for quantum technologies development in Scotland.”

Helen Cross, SFC’s Director of Research and Innovation, said:

“It’s great to be able to confirm another collaborative award in our ARCs programme. Creating a research challenge for quantum technologies will accelerate Scottish research collaboration in this area and allow us to benefit from the potential of quantum technologies more fully and more quickly.

“An important aspect of the multi-disciplinary approach is that the cross-university network will consider the ethical and societal impact of the technology as well as the science itself.”