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Government backs new centre for AI and quantum computing

04/06/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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A new artificial intelligence and quantum computing centre has been launched in the North West of England in a partnership between the Science and Technologies Facilities council (STFC) and IBM.

Hartree Centre

The Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) will bring together experts in AI and quantum computing to work on applications for next technologies in the public sector and industry.

It based at the STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory in the Liverpool City Region and will be backed by an investment of £210 million over the next five years, with £172 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and £38 million from IBM.

STFC said it will create vacancies for 60 scientists and opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience.

The centre’s work will focus on breaking down practical barriers to using new technologies, for example by providing access to equipment and infrastructure, and providing training in the relevant areas.  

STFC said possible applications of the technology include traffic routing and energy distribution.

Revolutionary potential

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said “Artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential to revolutionise everything from the way we travel to the way we shop.

“This fantastic new partnership with IBM will not only help businesses get ready for the future of computing, but create 60 jobs in the region – boosting innovation and growing the economy as we build back better from the pandemic.”

Dario Gil, senior vice President and director at IBM Research, said: “The world is facing grand challenges which demand a different approach towards science in computing, including AI and quantum computing, to engage a broad community across industry, government, and academia to accelerate discovery in science and business.

“This partnership establishes our first Discovery Accelerator in Europe driven by our two UK based IBM research locations in Hursley and Daresbury as they contribute to our global mission of building discovery driven communities around the world.” 

Image from STFC

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