UK investments in quantum computer is predicted to nearly triple in the next five years, according to a new survey released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Accenture Tech Tracker.

The total number of firms seeking to invest in quantum computer is set to grow from 11% to 32% despite the technology still residing in its research phase.

Quantum computing performs calculations based on the probability of an object’s state before it is measured, enabling it to rapidly speed up complex calculations.

As new technologies continue to develop and reveal their capabilities, more firms are beginning to realise the potential such as blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) which investment levels are set to double from 16% today to 35%.

Almost a third (32%) of respondents are also set to begin investing in artificial intelligence (AI).

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Digital and Innovation, said: “AI, blockchain and quantum computing are all next on the investment horizon.

“These technologies will be used not only to improve customer experience and reduce costs, but open up new frontiers of innovation, from drug discoveries to drone deliveries. 

“As we move from research to reality, investment in quantum computing is set to leap threefold, and could make possible experiments that are currently too costly and impractical.”

These types of modern technologies are viewing by businesses as an opportunity to beat competition.

When asked to rank six reasons for technology investment (from one to six, with one being the most important), firms ranked growing their competitive advantage as the most important reason (average 2.2) followed by boosting productivity (average 2.7.)

However, more than half (51%) of the businesses surveyed are “deeply concerned” about continued political instability in the UK, describing it as “stifling innovation and undermining investment decisions.”

Burch added: “While the UK’s regulatory framework is a strength, ongoing political uncertainty risks stifling innovation and undermining business investment in technology, jeopardising investments that could be worth billions of pounds. 

“If firms are to continue developing the technology behind quantum computing, robotics and AI in the UK – ending political instability will go a long way to unlocking investment.”

Perhaps surprisingly, a third (33%) of respondents reported that their firms don’t maximise the value of the data they generate despite the majority agreeing that they posses the facilities (80%) and leadership (69%) to innovate.

Zahra Bahrololoumi, senior managing director and lead for Accenture Technology UK & Ireland believes the need to eliminate bias and bring diversity of thought into their AI processes is “critical” and without it “then we’ll fail to create the best possible outcome for society.

She elaborated: “Greater investment doesn’t always equate to greater success. Tech adoption for tech’s sake often yields limited results or value. 

“To make the most of their investment, businesses need to leverage technology, talent and be aligned with business objectives and outcomes. 

“By adopting this approach, they can build an agile system to support the new tech that it needs to thrive not just now but also in the future.”