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UKRI announces £30 million boost for quantum computing


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Quantum computing abstract
Image source: Niam

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced a £30 million investment in seven initiatives to develop quantum computing testbeds at the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC).

UKRI said the initiative is aimed at identifying which types of quantum computer work best for solving different types of problems, and that it is expected to lead to real life applications in the public and private sectors.

It is also intended to promote the development of large scale quantum computers.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said: “From world leading quantum computing testing facilities to expediting public sector adoption, we are shaping a future where quantum technologies will revolutionise our society.

“This investment is not just monetary, it is an investment in the limitless potential of quantum, propelling the UK into a new era of technological prowess and economic growth.”

Seven winners

The money, which comes from UKRI’s Technology Missions Fund, will be distributed among seven companies that have been successful in a competition for support in developing operationally ready testbeds, to be set up at NQCC’s facilities in south Oxfordshire by March 2025.

The companies to win support are Aegiq, Cold Quanta UK, ORCA Computing Oxford Ionics, Rigetti UK, Quantum Motion and QuEra Computing.

Traditional quantum computing research and development has relied heavily on theoretical approaches that do not always translate to practical application.

The testbeds will provide prototype hardware on which to run and refine quantum algorithms. All winning companies will build, commission, and conduct initial testing and evaluation phases of a testbed system.

At the end of the projects, the testbeds will be considered for assessment through NQCC’s testbed evaluation programme, to test and validate their performance capabilities and carry out research on applications development.

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