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Dr Ayesha Verrall Professor Jevon Longdell image

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall talks to Associate Professor Jevon Longdell, of the University of Otago’s Department of Physics, about research being undertaken at Te Whai Ao – Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies. The international research centre is hosted by Otago and just received a significant funding boost from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

An ambitious and internationally-connected programme to leverage New Zealand’s niche expertise in quantum technology research will receive up to $12 million of government funding over the next five years.

The Quantum Technologies Research Programme will be developed by Te Whai Ao – Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, one of New Zealand’s leading centres for quantum research and a Centre of Research Excellence, hosted by the University of Otago.

It will focus on increasing international connectivity and domestic capability in this rapidly developing sector that leverages the principles of quantum physics to build new and advanced technologies.

“Quantum technologies have potentially transformative applications across many parts of society and in nearly every industry including climate and environmental monitoring, drug discovery and medical imaging, materials sciences and communication,” says MBIE Manager International Science Partnerships Loveday Kempthorne.

“This programme will support the robust research ecosystem needed to translate Aotearoa New Zealand’s emerging strengths in quantum research into a diverse range of opportunities, enabling our researchers to initiate and respond to collaboration prospects and to become valued partners as governments, large technology companies and start-ups around the world invest heavily to achieve breakthroughs in quantum innovation.”

Te Whai Ao – Dodd-Walls Centre has established strong connections with world-leading research organisations globally and draws expertise from research institutions throughout New Zealand. These networks will help ensure investment reaches the wider Aotearoa quantum research community.

"The Quantum Technologies Research Programme is a prime opportunity to harness and build on our nation’s strength in quantum technologies. This funding allows us to develop our strategic capabilities and grow our ecosystem to a point where Aotearoa has the knowledge and human capital to leverage the nascent "second quantum revolution,” says Te Whai Ao – Dodd-Walls Director, Professor Frédérique Vanholsbeeck.

“We are thrilled to expand our current research programmes and pay particular attention to the growth of Māori and Pasifika engagement within the quantum sector.”

Some of first countries New Zealand will seek to collaborate with through this programme include the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, the United States and Germany. Australia is also active in quantum technology research and an important partner for New Zealand alongside our association to Horizon Europe.

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