Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Developing quantum technologies in the UK - policy support and focus, research and investment, and priorities for commercialisation and regulation

Morning, Tuesday, 26th January 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the way forward for developing quantum technologies in the UK.

Areas for discussion include:

  • development and applications of quantum technologies
  • investment and the research landscape
  • the way forward for commercialisation and regulation

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; DCMS; the IPO; the DSTL; DIT; the European Space Agency; the Home Office; the MOD; and The Scottish Government.

Background and developments at a glance:

  • the UK National Quantum Technology Programme - its ongoing work following phase 1 and into Phase 2, following a £94m investment from the EPSRC in four hubs over five years
  • the four quantum hubs - focusing on sensors and timing, enhanced imaging, computing and simulation, and communications technologies
  • £70m funding to secure UK position as a world-leader in quantum technology - government funding for 38 new projects in areas such as medical diagnosis and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Government backs UK’s first quantum computer - in Abingdon and commercially available to businesses, and the Government’s ambition for the UK to be the world’s first quantum-ready economy
  • Science Minister launches National Quantum Computing Centre - aimed at supporting tackling the challenge of scaling quantum computing
  • the commercialising quantum technologies programme - focusing on sectors including automotive and healthcare, infrastructure and telecommunications, and cybersecurity and defence
  • UK and Canada launch world-first programme of quantum technologies - UKRI/NSERC funding competition winners announced as part of the bilateral commercialisation and research initiative

Key areas for discussion:

  • the UK National Quantum Technology Programme - assessing progress, what lessons can be learnt from phase one, and the priorities for phase two:
    • the four hubs - assessing the work on sensors and timing, imaging, computing and simulation, and communications technologies, and plans going forward
    • progress on individual projects - such as the new National Quantum Computing Centre
    • next steps - what more is needed from policy, research institutions, and industry to support quantum sector development, and the UK’s international competitiveness and positioning
  • the evolving landscape - looking at research, skills and funding in the sector:
    • the skills challenge - what is needed to secure the UK’s position in quantum technologies, and the impact of the Centres for Doctoral Training
    • international partnerships - prospects and priorities for growing global relationships in the development and commercialisation of quantum with the end of the EU exit transition period
    • UK cross-sector collaboration - strategies and best practice for developing effective joint working between the public sector, academia, and industry
  • commercialisation, scaling up and uptake:
    • the commercialising quantum technologies programme - its impact, and how the findings from the projects might be applied more broadly
    • proof of concepts - demonstrating practical applications of quantum technologies and possible use cases to support rollout
    • priority uses - examining the Government’s outline funding and the focus of support plans for addressing global and industrial challenges
    • tackling barriers - managing quantum development, including technical challenges of scalability, stability, and reliability, and integration with existing systems and computing processes
    • regulation - priorities for the framework and policy to support the developing technology, address any ethical and market issues, and be able to adapt as quantum technology advances
    • public sector investment - assessing initiatives and commitments already announced, and the way forward and focus for supporting research in UK universities and research institutions
    • private funding - what more may be needed from policy to incentivise private sector investment, increase the availability and diversity of funding sources, and better connect those in the sector with potential backers

The agenda:

  • Developing the UK’s quantum technologies sector - progress so far, and lessons learnt from the first phase of the Quantum Technologies Programme
  • Taking forward quantum technology in the UK - priorities for the second phase of the of the Quantum Technologies Programme and use cases for quantum technology across the UK economy
  • Research and development in quantum technologies in the UK - funding, collaboration between universities and industry, and international partnerships
  • The impact of new investment on the growth of quantum technologies - supporting emerging projects and applications in the UK, and tackling key barriers to development and widespread uptake
  • Developing quantum technologies in the UK - priorities for commercialisation and the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge programme

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; CDEI; the DCMS; the Department for International Trade; the DSTL; the European Space Agency; the Intellectual Property Office; and the Ministry of Defence.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with representatives of major technology companies, hardware and component manufacturers, artificial intelligence companies, data analytics companies, software developers, representatives from across a range of sectors with potential applications and use cases for quantum technologies, academics and researchers working on the development of these technologies, other industry representatives from across the technology and digital sectors, lawyers and consultants with an interest in these areas, organisations and individuals representing the views of consumers and citizens, regulators, academics and reporters from the national and trade media. 

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference


Chi Onwurah MP

Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Digital


Sir Peter Knight

Chair, UK National Quantum Technology Programme Strategic Advisory Board

Professor Elham Kashefi

Associate Director (Applications), Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub and Personal Chair, Quantum Computing, University of Edinburgh

Dr Siddarth Joshi

Research Fellow in Quantum Enhanced Sensing & Metrology, University of Bristol

Dr Liam Blackwell

Deputy Director, Quantum Technologies, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Dr Rhys Lewis

Head of Quantum Metrology Institute, National Physical Laboratory

Roger McKinlay

Challenge Director, Quantum Technologies, UKRI

Jonathan Legh-Smith

Head of Scientific Affairs, BT

Ian West

Partner, Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, KPMG