UK government Science Minister Andrew Griffith has announced a £45 million investment in quantum technology to improve healthcare, energy, transport and more.
Quantum technologies have the potential to tackle intricate problems that currently surpass the capacities of even the most advanced classical computers.
The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) have invested £30 million through a competition to develop and deliver world-leading quantum computing hardware prototypes.
A further £15 million from the Quantum Catalyst Fund is set to accelerate use of quantum in government, with both initiatives enabling quantum technologies to be used in real-life applications, both in the private and public sector.
Science Minister, Andrew Griffith MP, said: “As we steer towards an economy benefitting from quantum, this further £45 million in funding underscores our commitment to support bright UK innovators who are pushing boundaries and seizing the potential of this technology to transform our public services.
“Cutting-edge work on a quantum enabled brain scanner, which will be a beacon of hope for those battling neurological conditions, is just one example.
“The UK is already one global leader in quantum and to maintain that position this government will continue to invest in this transformational technology propelling the UK into a new era of technological prowess and economic growth.”
Over the next ten years, quantum technologies are expected to revolutionise many aspects of life in the UK and bring significant benefits such as helping to grow the economy and create well-paid jobs across the country.
UKRI, in partnership with NQCC, is investing in projects to create world-leading quantum computing testbeds based on various technologies.
The testbeds will speed up the development of scalable quantum computers and provide a practical way to test and validate their performance, moving beyond just theoretical approaches.
By running quantum algorithms on different hardware, the projects aim to identify the technology that is most effective for specific types of problems.
Dr Michael Cuthbert, Director of the National Quantum Computing Centre, said: “Over the coming 15 months these prototype quantum computing platforms will be deployed into the newly established NQCC facility providing us with a valuable insight into the maturity, characteristics and capabilities available across a range of hardware architectures.
“This next phase of the NQCC will be one of huge promise establishing a unique state of the art facility with on-premises access to a range of qubit modalities at scale.”
Dr Kedar Pandya, Executive Director, Cross-Council Programmes at UKRI, added: “We are on the brink of a quantum technology revolution that is poised to transform diverse industries from the financial sector to healthcare, and UKRI is committed to ensuring the UK’s place at the forefront of this.
“We are providing our world-leading businesses and institutions the resources and tools needed to build a strong foundation in quantum computing with the potential to scale their activities for long-term competitive advantage.
“This investment will help our researchers and innovators develop the blueprint for quantum computing hardware and software and secure the UK’s place in this developing field.”