Australia and the United States have formally agreed to collaborate on quantum technology, pledging to share knowledge, protect sensitive technologies and boost industry opportunities.
The two nations signed a statement of intent on Friday, recognising that the “critical emerging technology” presents significant opportunities for economic prosperity and security.
It comes just days after Australia named quantum technology as one of nine critical technologies of immediate national interest, and set aside $70 million for a Quantum Commercialisation Hub.
Under the agreement, Australia and the US will explore new theoretical applications of quantum technology and work to translate research into meaningful practical applications of mutual benefit.
The pair also plan to create “opportunities to expand quantum industries” and standards around “interoperability, innovation, transparency, diverse markets and security by design”.
National security is also central to the agreement, with the two nations pledging to “protect sensitive technologies for which there are national security implications”.
Australia and the US will similarly build a “trusted global quantum marketplace and the necessary secure supply chain through the engagement of the private sector and industry consortia”.
A new Quantum Policy Dialogue will see the two nations meet on a regular basis to exchange information, identify practical initiatives and review cooperation.
Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the agreement builds on the Australia’s already strong strategic partnership with the US on science and technology.
“As a critical technology that will shape our world for years to come, quantum technology offers incredible opportunities for Australia and the US,” she said.
She said quantum technologies would help overcome “significant challenges that current computers struggle to solve” and “create more secure communications technologies”.
“This is an important step forward for advancing quantum technologies in both Australia and the US, and will create more opportunities for Australian business and researchers.”
White House science advisor Eric Lander said the statement would see the two nations continue to develop a “healthy international marketplace for quantum technologies and grow the workforce”.