The NQCC announces £30 million of investment to commission the development of quantum computing testbeds in the UK

Speaking at an event during this year’s London Tech Week, UK Science Minister, George Freeman, today announced new funding to support universities and businesses working in the UK’s quantum technologies sector. These new investments, through the UKRI Technology Missions Fund, will build upon the country’s National Quantum Technologies Programme which has been running for nearly a decade.

Following the Minister’s announcement, the NQCC is pleased to announce that, as part of a wider Quantum Computing Mission, the Centre is investing £30 million to commission the development of quantum computing testbeds (prototype quantum computers) in the UK. The NQCC is partnering with Innovate UK to deliver the competition.

“We are pleased to be announcing this key investment of £30 m, which will help to drive further development of prototype quantum computers here in the UK. We plan to further support this initiative by operating and hosting a number of the testbeds within the NQCC’s national lab facilities. It’s a great example of how we aim to work with partners to build the UK’s quantum computing capabilities, enabling the technology to be demonstrated and showcased.”, Dr Simon Plant, Deputy Director for Innovation, NQCC commented.

The Quantum Computing Mission aims to:

  • accelerate the UK’s strategic advantage and capabilities
  • accelerate the growth in user adoption of quantum computing and associated essential skills
  • uncover critical bottlenecks in understanding technology readiness and systems performance on the pathway to delivering fully fault-tolerant error-corrected quantum computing for the UK.

The NQCC is coordinating with partners across UK Research & Innovation in support of this initiative. The mission seeks to drive the development of test-beds and applications to underpin further growth of a UK quantum computing sector capable of delivering quantum advantage in 2025.

The funding supports a number of delivery strands:

  • £6 m Software-Enabled Quantum Computation call with EPSRC – launched 12 Dec 2022, closed 1 February 2023
  • £8 m Feasibility Studies in Quantum Computing Applications call with Innovate UK – launched 13 Feb 2023, closed 29 March 2023
  • Up to £30 m for the Quantum Computing Testbed Development call with Innovate UK – EOI launched 30 May
  • £6 m investments directly through the NQCC:
  • Innovation Hub at Harwell Campus
  • User engagement programme, SparQ, and quantum readiness training
  • Quantum computing as a service (QCaaS).

The expected outcome of the mission is to:

  • ensure end-user adoption of quantum computing through access to resources, skills development and demonstration of economic value driving prosperity, security, and productivity enhancement for the UK.

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