back to article shovels £15m into training new quantum engineers

The government is flinging £15m at training "the next generation" of quantum engineers through investment in "skills hubs". Implicitly suggesting the existence of a current generation of quantum engineers, the Department of BIS hopes the investment will support the building of "innovative new products like 6G smartphones." As …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    As someone on the wrong side of the pond, help me out... There's a PM who's mouthing platitudes about spending money. Apparently he either has or hasn't a clue, not being familiar with him, I'm not sure? Is this a deep insight or just political feel-good? Then there's the two others who seem to be at odds over how the money should be spent.

    I suspect that someone here in the US is watching this will try the same thing. Does seem to be a good thing or is it just the usual government solution to toss money into the pit and see what floats up?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      15M is fsck-all money.

      It will be simply moved from other funds anyway

      It gets him on the TV

      The other lot have to either promise 16M for flying unicorns or be accused of not supporting Britain

      - I did my PhD next door to an "interdisciplinary superconductivity research center of excellence" built 20years earlier under a previous vision, nothing ever come from it.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      As someone on the wrong side of the pond, help me out...

      I'll try!

      There's a PM who's mouthing platitudes about spending money. Apparently he either has or hasn't a clue, not being familiar with him, I'm not sure? Is this a deep insight or just political feel-good?

      You just need to remember two simple facts.

      a - Our PM is a career politician.

      b - There's an election coming up.

      I'm sure you can work out the rest...

      Then there's the two [academics] who seem to be at odds over how the money should be spent

      And this is wrong how...?

      Science moves forward by people having different ideas and trying to work out who (If anyone!) is right.

      I know nothing about Rachel Oliver, but I know Ross Anderson isn't a man known for keeping his opinions private or "on message".

    3. Werner McGoole

      Presumably someone told Cameron about a wave function and he though it sounded like a great photo opportunity.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "There's a PM who's mouthing platitudes"

      This is Vince Cable, not the PM. Former lecturer at LSE (London School of Economics).

      It looks like someone has been at work with both smoke, through which cameras might or might not see, and mirrors.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius

        Cable's fables

        @Dr Syntax

        Long ago, I interrupted Vince Cable with a point of information during a debate at the Cambridge Union Society. He is a courteous debater, but that is the only positive thing I can say about him.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Peanuts for Monkeys but still Worth a Nibble to Discover the Active State of Austere State Play

    He added: "There are a lot of doubts that certain quantum technologies could ever work. We don't need it, we have working cryptography now," listing plenty of reasons to be sceptical about quantum navigation as well.

    Working cryptography with no security is what fools have in abundance for the illusion and delusion that imagines they exercise human power with virtualisation command and control. And he, Ross Anderson, head of cryptography at Cambridge University, taking a sceptical line, telling us that there were "a number of issues at different levels" with recent quantum-focused proposals, would say that, wouldn't he....... as both working quantum and steganography render cryptography practically worthless and ineffectual for defence of realms and attacking and destroying systems.

    And yes, a £15milllion funding pledge for a Great Game changer, and for which invariably there will myriad hoops to jump through for access to just a percentage of the cash stash, is typically small minded and short sighted of the usual mix of pen pushers and bean counters cooking books for local and national government schemes and/or scams.

    Thank God and Global Operating Devices for the private and pirate sectors were real wealth with smarter investors and non institutionalised state actors can be made/created.

  3. Clive Harris

    What about the quantum mechanics?

    They also need to train up some quantum mechanics. The quantum engineers won't want to get their hands greasy servicing all those quanta.

    1. Werner McGoole

      Re: What about the quantum mechanics?

      Quantum mechanics or quantum engineering? I's so hard to decide. Maybe I could do both?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What about the quantum mechanics?

        > Maybe I could do both?

        Nah,can't do that - different union

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          Re: What about the quantum mechanics?

          Just don't get in a tangle over this: No-one will know what state you're in.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More money....

    ... for the Silicon Snake Oil Salesmen.

  5. SecretSonOfHG

    Quantum budgeting

    The best part about it is that until they open the box they won't know if it has been spent or not... yeah, I know, bad joke.

  6. tony2heads

    6G smartphones


    Most areas don't even get 4G, and WTF is 6G supposed to do anyway? Stream UHDTV to the 4" screen on a phone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 6G smartphones

      "WTF is 6G supposed to do anyway?"

      Nobody knows, nobody cares. But the dimly functioning proto-brains of our half wit politicians have registered that 3G was supposedly better than 2G. And 4G is supposedly better than 3G. Using reasoning of which algae would be proud, they conclude that 5G, 6, or 7G must be incrementally better, and will without doubt deliver fantabulous riches and societal benefits that cannot even be dreamed of yet...

      5G sounds a bit close for comfort - you know, like they might have to deliver something. 7G is perhaps too far off even for the "jam-tomorrow" liars of the various political parties. So 6G it is!

  7. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Time to market

    Dr Anderson: "advances made by scientists might take twenty years before appearing in the market".

    Consider the transistor, invented in 1948. It did not show its full importance until the late 1960s when integrated circuits became available. But the quantum mechanics that underlies the transistor was developed in the 1920s.

    So that was a gap of some forty years between scientific research and major pay-off. The moral is that a short term approach to science funding will not spend money wisely.

    1. Ian Bush

      Re: Time to market

      Indeed. But today research is run by the bean counters who only care if the books balance at the end of the year. Any research getting done is purely incidental and of not great import comapred to that.

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