The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) welcomes the long-anticipated release of the National Quantum Strategy, and its inclusion of crucial ideas advocated by ATSE through the consultation process.
If implemented, this Strategy for Australia’s nascent quantum industry will provide certainty for Australia to capitalise on its existing strengths and become internationally competitive in quantum research translation and commercialisation. ATSE welcomes the focus on quantum skills – a central issue raised in our submission to the Strategy. The Strategy’s commitment to mapping the quantum workforce and investigating quantum skills taxonomies, as proposed in ATSE’s submission, will provide a foundation for understanding and creating the future quantum workforce.
School programs and initiatives to engage underrepresented groups, as recommended in ATSE’s submission, will also be levers to improve the size and diversity of the quantum workforce.
The Strategy’s elevation of an ethical quantum ecosystem to a top-level theme is also a welcome development. As ATSE’s submission highlighted, ethical issues will arise as the industry matures. Efforts must be made to ensure the responsible and equitable development of the quantum sector. The Strategy outlines how programs like the National Reconstruction Fund can be utilised to invest in mature quantum technologies. However, there is an unmet need for the Australian Government to invest in whole-of-pipeline quantum research and deliver quantum skills programs. ATSE encourages the Australian Government to back its Strategy with the public funding it needs to succeed and deliver returns in the decades to come.
ATSE appreciates the opportunity to be involved in the consultation process led by Australia’s Chief Scientist and ATSE Fellow, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM FTSE FAA.
ATSE Fellows such as Professor Michelle Simmons AO FTSE FAA FRS, Professor Andre Luiten FTSE and Professor Elanor Huntington FTSE are at the forefront of Australia’s quantum industry.