Money

University of Edinburgh joins consortium to create quantum computer



A Californian-based tech company is leading a £10m consortium to create the UK’s first commercially available quantum computer.

Experts from Edinburgh, as well as Oxford, London, and Bristol and will develop the machine with Rigetti Computing, which will be based in Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

The project forms part of Government plans for the UK to become the world’s first quantum-ready economy, according to science minister Amanda Solloway.

She said: “This a key part of our plan to build back better using the latest technology, attract the brightest and best talent to the UK and encourage world-leading companies to invest here.”

Rigetti, which also developed a cloud-based platform allowing computer programmers to write quantum algorithms, will work alongside Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered and Bristol and London-based quantum software start-up Phasecraft, as well as the University of Edinburgh.

The company’s chief executive, Chad Rigetti, said: “By providing access to quantum hardware, the collaboration aims to unlock new capabilities within the thriving UK ecosystem of quantum information science researchers, start-ups, and enterprises who have already begun to explore the potential impact of quantum computing.”

The UK’s first National Quantum Computer Centre (NQCC), based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, was also launched on September 2.

The Government first announced it would establish the centre in 2018, pledging to invest £93m in the venture.

According to ministers, the NQCC will bring together academia, businesses and the government to address key challenges to quantum computing, such as scaling-up this technology and making it commercially viable.

READ  4 Black Friday Marketing Ideas That The Need Of The Hour

Working closely with industry and the research community, the centre will also provide businesses and research institutions with access to quantum computers as they are developed around the world.

Dr Michael Cuthbert, NQCC director, added: “I am pleased with the progress made on the formal structures and governance of the centre.

“The next steps initiating centre recruitment and commissioning technology work packages are very welcome tangible steps as the centre moves from initialisation and conceptual design to facility construction and operational delivery.”

What is quantum computing?

Quantum computing offers the chance for businesses to find better or quicker ways to solve problems, many of which are not possible using standard computers.

There are currently only a small number of quantum computing platforms being developed around the world.

Industries including pharmaceuticals, aerospace and transport that substantially contribute to the UK economy are set to benefit most, according to the UK Government.

According to ministers, the technology could help industry accelerate the discovery of new drug treatments, improve the efficiency of global supply chains, including across food, automotive and aerospace sectors, and cut road traffic in towns and cities.

By 2024, quantum computing is expected to provide £4bn of economic opportunities globally, while in the coming decades productivity gains resulting from quantum computing are expected to surpass more than £341bn.



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply