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November was a milestone month for the OQC team as we attended two global events, announced our Series B raise, and launched our latest generation quantum computer…

Showcasing UK innovation with OQC Toshiko

We were honoured to be one of thirteen companies hand-selected to represent UK innovation at the Global Investment Summit, a government-led event at Hampton Court Palace. Surrounded by some of the world’s biggest investors, pioneering British innovators, and more than 200 of the world’s leading CEOs, we launched OQC Toshiko gen 1.

OQC Toshiko is our 32-qubit system that is the pioneer for enterprise ready quantum computing and is the world’s first enterprise ready platform: this launch aligned flawlessly with the core values of the Global Investment Summit, while being the perfect demonstration of UK innovation.

On the stand, our CEO Ilana Wisby and Vice President of Commercial Gerald Mullally, gave a sensory experience of OQC Toshiko with an introductory video, a large-scale art piece inspired by our patented Coaxmon chip, a tiny life-size chips to hold, a copper sample assembly package from our lab, and an audio recording of the sound of our quantum computer at work. Ministers, CEOs and investors were able to interact with these elements, allowing us to exhibit how innovation is required within every element of quantum to produce a successful, commercial-ready computer.

The Global Investment Summit is a fantastic opportunity to showcase UK innovation. As a global leader in quantum technology, OQC is committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We welcome the opportunity to showcase at the summit and help cement the UK as a global leader in innovation.”

Dr. Ilana Wisby, CEO at OQC

We were honoured to have Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Science Minister Andrew Griffiths, and Secretary of States Kemi Badenoch, Michelle Donelan and David Davies, visit us on stand to explore the possibilities of quantum and OQC Toshiko. 

Creating high-value investment

The ministerial event is led by the newly formed Department for Business and Trade, created by the Prime Minister to support UK businesses to invest, grow and export around the world. Following a successful Global Investment Summit in 2021, which secured £9.7 billion of new foreign investment on the day and created over 30,000 new jobs, the 2023 summit achieved an extraordinary £29.5bn committed from the world’s biggest investors, which will create 12,000 jobs across the country; with a special focus on high tech sectors such as innovation, research and development. The UK has significant economic power and diversity, which in turn allows global businesses to utilise one of the best ecosystems in the world to grow innovative companies:

“[The] Global Investment Summit is an opportunity to demonstrate what we can do as a nation, delivering on our ambition to be a world-leading destination for international finance and investment.

Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister

Interestingly, research from Ernst & Young found the UK recorded 929 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in 2022 – down 6.4% from 993 in 2021. While London specifically recorded 299 FDI projects in 2022, down 24% from 394 in 2021, marking it the capital’s lowest number of projects in the last ten years. Although London remained the UK’s number one location for FDI projects. With global investments being crucial for UK businesses, the summit was an exemplary opportunity to show innovation and drive from the country. 

OQC demonstrates excellence investment

OQC is no stranger to investment, as we have previously raised £41 million, including the largest Series A in quantum in the UK at that time. At the Global Investment Summit, we were thrilled to announce that SBI Investment, Japan’s premier venture capital fund, is leading OQC’s $100m Series B raise. This is an imperative step in the journey of growing our capabilities, team, and putting quantum into the hands of humanity through Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS).

To solve the world’s most pressing challenges – from climate change to accelerated drug discovery – we need to put quantum computers in the hands of humanity and at the fingertips of our most brilliant minds. We’re proud to be pioneering enterprise ready quantum with our customers, partners and investors.

Dr. Ilana Wisby, CEO at OQC

Investing in talent and careers

As a deep tech company in an industry at the edge of infancy, it was fantastic to see the UK government identifying quantum technologies as a top priority for the next decade in their National Quantum Strategy released in March. Their strategy for the next 10 years aims to build on the successes to date and acknowledges that investing in quantum technologies now will improve lives in the long-term, drive economic growth, create jobs, and make the UK more secure and sustainable, with recent findings showing that the UK performed well on project value, according to Ernst & Young, delivering the highest jobs total in Europe.

Figures from the UK Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock reached £2 trillion in 2021, creating tens of thousands of high-value jobs across the UK. As quantum continues to develop through investments from events like the Global Investment Summit, the job opportunities are expected to grow with it: with some research anticipating 600,000 jobs created by 2040.

Training and talent programmes: to invest in postgraduate skills, technical and engineering professionals, and apprenticeships to deliver the quantum researchers, innovators, and practitioners the UK needs.

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

Research by Quantum Futures and techUK suggests the development of a suitable talent pipeline in the UK will be difficult and will require the UK tech sector, the quantum industry, academia, and UK Government to actively work together to prioritise quantum skills. OQC has grown to a dedicated team of over 100 in just 6 years, working across a variety of skills and are continuing to invest in exceptional talent to help with our mission to build quantum computers to enable life-changing discoveries

For quantum-specific skills, the National Quantum Strategy outlined £25 million for increased investment in quantum fellowships and doctoral training, over and above the existing Centres for Doctoral Training and Fellowships schemes to help vitally upskill people.

Preparing for a quantum future at the Global Banking Summit

The following day, our CEO Ilana Wisby attended the Financial Times Global Banking Summit alongside top influencers from across the banking stack. As part of the event’s goal to explore leadership strategies for the future of banking, Ilana gave a keynote speech on what quantum is and how it will deliver value to the financial services industry, finance use cases today, and how enterprise ready quantum is driving value for the industry. Furthermore, Ilana also discussed what post-quantum financial services could look like, and how the financial services sector should prepare.

This event is the only strategy-focused banking conference that brings all the top CEOs as well as leaders of FinTech, financial crime, open banking and CSOs to debate the future of the industry in one place. With research from Deloitte predicting the financial services industries global spend on quantum computing capabilities is expected to grow 233x, from just US$80 million in 2022 to US$19 billion in 2032 – growing at a 10-year CAGR of 72%, it’s critical for the financial services industry to understand the impact of quantum today to ensure they’re ready for it in the future.

OQC is pioneering QCaaS via London and Tokyo, and with these world-first achievements we greatly understand the need to educate and protect businesses as the unlimited potential of quantum computing becomes a part of our everyday lives. It is critical to help businesses understand how quantum can be utilised and where to begin integrating it and protecting their valuable assets, such as data. Notably, by the time a fault-tolerant quantum computer is available, McKinsey estimates that the use cases in finance could create $622 billion in value, making it an exceptional opportunity for the industry to invest in now.

In her keynote presentation on the innovation track, to a mix of strategy, technology and digital leaders, including VPs and Heads of Department, Ilana discussed how quantum will not just accelerate opportunities within the financial sector, but catalyse entirely new ones. Including: Generative Modelling to help with fraud detection or probability distribution preparation, Clustering for stock selection or exchange rate regimes, and Reinforcement Learning for algorithmic trading or deep hedging. She also explored what quantum is  and how it will more generally impact the finance industry, while answering a variety of use-case specific questions from the audience.

Celebrating a ground-breaking week

Launching our latest technology, announcing our Series B raise, and attending two high-profile global events was an incredibly busy week for everyone in the OQC team and the efforts made leading up to the events were exceptional. After starting Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) in 2017, our mission has stayed the same: to put quantum into the hands of humanity to enable life-changing discoveries, through easy and secure access. And, in 6 short years we are making considerable progress to achieving this! Receiving requests to attend events such as the Global Investment Summit and keynote at the Global Banking Summit solidifies our efforts in changing the world for the better.