Scalable Quantum Network Technologies: Collaborative R&D

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £10 million for projects that address technological barriers in the commercialisation and adoption of quantum network technologies. This funding is from Innovate UK.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £10 million

Opens: 18th Sep 2023

Closes: 1st Nov 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £10 million in innovation projects.


Our communications networks are growing in capacity and complexity as our economy becomes increasingly underpinned by data. Quantum network technologies will transform the way we distribute, secure, handle and process our information to meet these challenges, to build resilient communications and to make quantum computers scalable and usable.

The aim of this competition is to accelerate quantum network technologies by removing technological barriers to their commercialisation and adoption. Your project must identify one or more key technological barriers and propose an innovative project that will address them.

Your proposal must:

  • outline one or more technological barriers and their implications to businesses
  • describe how this impedes widespread customer adoption
  • deliver an innovative, competitive technical solution
  • plan to demonstrate the technical solution and its commercial viability
  • provide a roadmap for future commercial exploitation

Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will enhance the scalability of quantum network technologies and build UK leadership in the emerging global market.

Your project must exploit the capabilities of second generation quantum technologies which are defined as those involving the generation and coherent control of quantum states, resulting in phenomena such as superposition or entanglement.

Innovate UK consider technologies involving single photon generation and detection to be in scope.

Innovate UK encourage projects that:

  • enable quantum networks to operate at scale
  • develop security assurance frameworks for real world implementations of quantum-enabled solutions
  • advance critical enabling technologies towards scale manufacture
  • unlock and amplify the capabilities of quantum processors by connecting them into networked architectures
  • work with network architects, operators and services providers to introduce quantum technologies to enhance or transform current solutions and services

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • techniques for securing data in storage and in flight
  • networking of quantum computers to advance information processing


Your project must:

  • have total costs between £1.5 million and £3 million
  • start on 1 April 2024
  • end by 30 September 2025
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the project results from the UK
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application. If the lead is an RTO they must apply for funding with at least 2 UK registered businesses.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with at least 2 businesses.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not exploit the capabilities of, or mitigate the risks created by second generation quantum technologies
  • duplicate existing innovation

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £10 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.