The Department of Defence wants new minds to work on quantum communication technologies.

The department says it is seeking proposals from “industry, academia and government-funded organisations” to advance the local development of quantum technologies, according to a tender published earlier this month

It is open to proposals for quantum-secured communication; quantum time transfer; quantum memories and repeaters; free-space quantum communications; quantum-enabled RF communications; and quantum-enhanced classical communications.

“Future quantum networks will be capable of transferring qubits across large distances and multiple nodes by using quantum repeaters based on quantum memories,” Defence said in the statement of work for the tender.

It will also consider international bids “to avoid duplication or to gain access to world leading capability not available in Australia”.

Defence is looking for projects to take between one and three years, and fall within a budget of $500,000 to $800,000.

The department has already funded work on quantum sensing, navigation, and timing. 

“Entangled pairs of photons can provide distributed timing information that is an order of magnitude better than that currently available through GPS,” Defence said.

“Overlaying the quantum timing process with quantum security protocols means that the timing signals cannot be spoofed, providing accurate and assured timing signals that are critical for precision navigation.”