Close collaboration and interconnection across the country’s quantum ecosystem will be needed to rapidly grow Australia’s quantum workforce.

Prof Peter Turner with SQA PhD scholarship students at The Quantum Terminal in Sydney

To that end, in late April 2023, Sydney Quantum Academy was commissioned by the Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources to develop proposals for a national approach to workforce training, recruitment and development.

Known as the National Quantum Collaboration Initiative (NQCI), that process is now under way, and consultations are planned between August and November 2023. It will include opportunities for face to face or virtual meetings, and written input that will feed into the recommendations made to the Federal Government

“Quantum is the next big technological revolution, likely to reap enormous benefits in the decades ahead — but it is also one of the most competitive frontiers of innovation,” said Prof Peter Turner, CEO of the Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA), a partnership between four Sydney universities. “It’s therefore essential we not only nurture the excellent expertise we have, but continue to build on the links between industry and academia, and to attract the best young minds to the field.

“We’ve been charged with developing a proposal for how stakeholders can come together to help create a thriving workforce for this burgeoning technology across the country,” he added. “We cannot do this alone. We will need input from a diverse group of stakeholders nationally who can help us to develop a strategy to boost quantum skills, enhance workforce training programs and grow the quantum ecosystem.”

"We want to be comprehensive and inclusive. We want to hear ideas, viewpoints and perspectives."

Prof Peter Turner, CEO of SQA

“The NQCI will consult widely across multiple touchpoints of the quantum ecosystem,” said Prof Turner. “We want to be comprehensive and inclusive. We want to hear ideas, viewpoints and perspectives, and assessments of what’s been done before that has worked, whether in Australia and overseas.

Among those to be consulted will be quantum research leaders at universities, deputy vice-chancellors of research and education, peak bodies in the university sector, as well as students. In the government sector, national and state chief scientist’s offices, and departmental units and agencies specialising in quantum and technology development and growth.

NQCI is also keen to garner input from industry – including quantum start-ups, investors, industry peak bodies – as well as small, medium and large companies either exploring quantum technologies or operating in areas adjacent to them.

NQCI was announced shortly before the release of the National Quantum Strategy and initiatives detailed in the May 2023 Federal budget. Initial planning and scoping for NQCI has been under development by SQA, and stakeholders are encouraged to stay in touch with SQA for future communications, including invitations to contribute.

Visit the National Quantum Collaboration Initiative page for more information, or to express your interest in being involved.