SparQ programme

SparQ is the NQCC’s flagship user engagement programme, which enables applications discovery, supports skills development, and provides opportunities for networking.

Catalysing quantum readiness

SparQ aims to support the pathway to quantum readiness by building knowledge and expertise in applications discovery, and developing the UK quantum computing user community. The programme is aimed at current and future professionals in industry, business, academia, and beyond.

SparQ supports users on the journey from ‘awareness to advocacy’, allowing them to build familiarity, evaluate the technology, and make the case for quantum computing.

SparQ enables technical users to gain knowledge and hands-on experience of working with quantum algorithms and real quantum processors.

SparQ pillars

• Support the discovery and development of use cases and applications for quantum computing

• Enhance quantum computing literacy and programming skills

• Build a UK quantum computing user community through knowledge exchange and networking


Technical and applications support

SparQ provides end users with opportunities to work with emerging quantum algorithms and hardware, allowing them to build their skillsets and gain an understanding of the current and future capabilities of quantum computers.

In support of the journey from awareness to advocacy, the NQCC can offer access to applications development expertise, and quantum computing resources, to explore use cases and appraise applications. The NQCC can provide this support to UK organisations by engaging in collaborative R&D and proof-of-concept projects.

Training and skills development

One of the key objectives of quantum readiness is communicating and transferring knowledge to a variety of audiences to inform, educate and inspire. The NQCC seeks to support the education and training of the next generation of quantum professionals, as well as engaging with the public to raise awareness of this growing field and its implications for society. Through education and skills-focused activities, the NQCC aims to support the development of the current and future quantum workforce and help address the STEM skills gap.

Through the learning resources and skills development pillar of SparQ, the NQCC aims to meet the skills gap challenge through a range of educational activities. These focus on upskilling and accelerating quantum expertise such as a self-paced online quantum skills course and continuing professional development courses in collaboration with universities.

Networking, workshops and hackathons

By connecting developers, technology providers and end users, SparQ aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and accelerate the adoption of quantum computing, in both the public and private sectors.

As part of the quantum readiness agenda, the NQCC organises an annual UK quantum hackathon. The event is aimed at exploration and awareness-raising for the current capabilities and limitations of quantum computing, as well as nurturing the talent pipeline. Teams work collaboratively to solve use cases based on real-world industry challenges, working alongside expert mentors. Participants gain hands-on experience using quantum algorithms and programming real quantum processers.

Access to quantum computing resources

Access to quantum compute resources is a key enabler available through our SparQ programme, to support proof-of-concept projects, quantum hackathons and more. Oxford Quantum Circuits was announced as the first principle provider of quantum compute resource to the SparQ programme in 2022.