In this week’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a series of quantum technology missions, which will enable the UK to maintain a leading position in the critical technology domains of quantum computing, networking, sensing and navigation, aligned with the ambitions of the National Quantum Strategy. The Chancellor’s statement also made reference to the National Quantum Computing Centre, and its support for government and industry to explore how quantum computing could be applied.
The NQCC welcomes the announcement of a quantum computing mission, which will further galvanise and scale efforts for UK quantum computing.
The mission sets out a bold technology ambition:
“By 2035, there will be accessible, UK-based quantum computers capable of running 1 trillion operations and supporting applications that provide benefits well in excess of classical supercomputers across key sectors of the economy.”
NQCC Director, Dr Michael Cuthbert, commented: “The UK’s vision for a quantum-enabled economy was initiated through the National Quantum Technologies Programme, with over £1 billion of public and private investment since 2014. With the publication of a National Quantum Strategy earlier this year, committing £2.5 billion of public investment over the next 10 years, I welcome the Autumn Statement highlighting the quantum missions and the UK’s enduring long-term vision for these emerging technologies.”
The NQCC reaffirms its commitment, working with partners across government, industry and the research community, to enable the delivery of assured quantum computing capabilities for the UK. The Centre recently announced the opening of its first facility, the NQCC Innovation Hub, and continues to invest in the facilities and infrastructure in which to build, host and operate quantum computers. We are supporting the talent and skills pipeline by providing training and development opportunities, whilst catalysing the growth of the industrial ecosystem nationwide. As a national lab, we are delivering on a bold vision, to enable the UK to solve some of the most complex and challenging problems facing society by harnessing the potential of quantum computing. The NQCC aims to enable the UK as a quantum-ready nation, grow the workforce and take full advantage of the benefits that quantum computing can offer, by supporting organisations on a journey from awareness to advocacy.
NQCC Programme Updates
The following recent updates demonstrate the NQCC’s readiness to support the government’s quantum computing mission.
- The NQCC is investing £30 million in projects that will deliver a series of quantum computing testbeds, based on different hardware architectures, through a competition being delivered by Innovate UK. These prototypes will accelerate the development of scalable quantum computers by enabling detailed characterisation and performance benchmarking of early-stage machines.
- In preparation for hosting the testbeds, the Centre’s first facility, the NQCC Innovation Hub, is now ready to start hosting the development and operation of quantum computing testbeds.
- Earlier this month, the NQCC and IBM signed an agreement to provide UK researchers with cloud access to IBM’s fleet of quantum computing systems, to drive new research directions based on the use of quantum computing.
- The NQCC has joined the National Physical Laboratory as one of the founding partners for the Quantum Standards Network Pilot that will enable the UK to coordinate strategic priorities and drive focussed engagement on standards for quantum technologies.
- The NQCC, along with the Quantum Software Lab at Edinburgh, is partnering on a project awarded to Rigetti Computing by Innovate UK to enhance quantum machine learning methods for anti-money laundering detection.
Read the full policy document on the National Quantum Strategy Missions here.