Science Minister Amanda Solloway has launched the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) that has been established to place the UK at the forefront of this transformative new technology.
Funded by UK Research and Innovation, the NQCC will be located at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, and will bring together academia, business, and government with the aim of addressing the key challenges to quantum computing, such as its scalability.
Quantum computers will be significantly more powerful than current ‘classical’ computers and able to perform tasks that are practically impossible today. Unlocking this power will catalyse the development of new technologies that will deliver benefits for all of society, ranging from the design of ultra-high energy storage batteries for electric vehicles to improving and speeding up the process of drug discovery.
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive at UK Research and Innovation, said: “Quantum computers are extraordinary new tools with the potential to allow us to tackle previously insurmountable challenges, promising benefits for all of society through applications in areas such as drug discovery and traffic optimisation.
“The National Quantum Computing Centre will tackle the key bottlenecks in quantum computing by bringing together experts from across the UK’s outstanding research and innovation system from academia and industry to unlock the potential of this exciting new technology.”
The NQCC will work closely with industry to grow the sector – there is already a small but thriving community at Harwell and around the UK who will benefit from this new centre when it opens in 2022.
John Vandore, Business Development Manager and Quantum community engagement manager at Harwell Campus, said, “This announcement of the NQCC will inject powerful momentum into accelerating growth of Quantum Technology throughout the UK.
“Work in this transformative sector is already substantial from Harwell with contributions from the national laboratories through RAL Quantum Space Lab and the STFC Cryogenics Lab, and members of the supply chain such as Element Six and RedWave Labs.”
Talking of the next steps in the programme delivery, Dr Michael Cuthbert, NQCC Director, said: “The next steps initiating centre recruitment and commissioning technology work packages are very welcome tangible steps as the centre moves from initialisation and conceptual design to facility construction and operational delivery.”
Work to prepare the NQCC facility on the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) site at Harwell Campus will commence this month. Completion of the building is expected by the end of 2022.