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OQC-led consortium wins
landmark grant to boost
quantum technologies in the UK


Oxford, 23 April 2020 – Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, awards Oxford Quantum Circuits-led consortium the largest ever Government grant aimed at the commercialisation of superconducting quantum technologies, and positions the UK as a global leader in the field. 

Together, four companies and two universities will develop foundry and measurement services which will underpin major commercial developments across the economy.

Superconducting hardware is critical for the development of quantum technologies, delivering transformative products for sensing, security and information processing.

However, fabricating these superconducting circuits, accessing specialist cryogenic equipment and developing state-of-the-art test electronics remain highly technical and expensive undertakings. The significant up-front investment required represents a large barrier to entry to most companies in the UK, preventing the country from leading the way on quantum technologies, a market expected to reach nearly £15B by 2024 globally, with £233M for superconducting devices alone.

Today, a world-class consortium of experts in nanoscale technology is announcing a £7M landmark project to bring the capability to produce superconducting circuits at commercial scale in the UK. This Innovate UK grant signals the UK’s ambition to lead the international race to commercialise quantum technologies to the benefit of the economy and society.

Together, Oxford Quantum Circuits, SeeQC UK, Oxford Instruments, Kelvin Nanotechnology, University of Glasgow and the Royal Holloway University of London will industrialise the design, manufacture and test of superconducting quantum devices. This is the first time a concerted effort will bring all relevant partners across industry and academia towards establishing such capability in the UK. Multiple commercial streams are expected through cryogenic measurements as a service, superconducting device foundry as a service, quantum computing as a service and the sale of quantum devices.

Dr Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits said “With this grant, Innovate UK is sending a strong message: the country has missed opportunities to drive commercial impact from its enviable scientific base in the past, but it won’t miss the quantum revolution. Our project is critical to positioning the UK at the forefront of the quantum industry, bringing in jobs and investment, and delivering a domestic supply of a technology of national strategic importance. Our consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver this project successfully”.

The partners in the consortium have established a strong foundation of IP and know-how with previous Government support through the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. This project will harness those capabilities for the benefit of the commercial sector.

Professor Phil Meeson, Director of SuperFab, said “SuperFab, the superconducting electronic nanofabrication facility at Royal Holloway, is a key underpinning capability for the project. RHUL is very proud to be a member of the consortium that will lead the development of superconducting quantum devices in the UK.”

The project, supported by an international advisory board including commercial customers, will be launched in August 2020, with the first key deliverables expected in 2021.

About Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC): At OQC, we’re creating the core of the quantum revolution to solve some of humanity’s most significant challenges. Founded in 2017, OQC has built the UK’s most advanced superconducting quantum computer in the UK, the only one commercially available in the country. With its patented innovation, the Coaxmon, a unique 3D architecture bringing key componentry & wiring off-chip, OQC is furthering the scalability of its technologies without any compromise on quality. Keeping practical applications in mind, OQC’s ambition is to lead the industry on Quantum Computing as a Service.

About Oxford Instruments: Founded in 1959, Oxford Instruments has grown and flourished; exploiting technologies developed in the first quantum revolution. In our next 60 years; the second quantum revolution, exploiting ‘entanglement’ and ‘superposition’ will open new possibilities in timing, sensing, imaging, computing and cryptography. Oxford Instruments is playing a key role driving quantum technologies by developing state of the art cryogenic environments, measurement solutions and robust fabrications processes to enable the next wave of performance enhancements for applications in quantum computing, sensing and communications.

About Royal Holloway University of London: Royal Holloway, University of London, is ranked in the top 20 universities in the UK . Through world class research that expands minds and changes lives, the dedication of our teachers and the feel of the Royal Holloway experience, ours is a community that inspires individuals to succeed academically, socially and personally. The university was founded by two social reformers who pioneered the ideal of education and knowledge for all who could benefit. Their vision lives on today.  As one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities we are home to some of the world’s foremost authorities in the sciences, arts, business, economics and law.  We are strengthened by diversity, and welcome students and academics who travel from all over the world to study and work here, ensuring an international and multi-cultural perspective within a close knit and historic campus.

About SeeQC UK: Seeqc is developing the first fully digital quantum computing platform for global businesses. Seeqc combines classical and quantum technologies to address the efficiency, stability and cost issues endemic to quantum computing systems. The company applies classical and quantum technology through digital readout and control technology and a unique chip-scale architecture. Seeqc’s quantum system provides the energy- and cost-efficiency, speed and digital control required to make quantum computing useful and bring the first commercially-scalable, problem-specific quantum computing applications to market. Seeqc is a spin-out of HYPRES, the world’s leading developer of superconductor electronics. Seeqc is based in Elmsford, NY with facilities in London, UK and Naples, Italy.

About University of Glasgow: The Quantum Circuit Group at the University of Glasgow, led by Martin Weides, explores superconducting quantum devices for near-term applications. It accesses the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, a leading 1600 m2 cleanroom which houses over £35M of state-of-the-art fabrication and metrology equipment. It is one of the leading centres of research and international collaboration in micro and nanofabrication technologies undertaking fundamental, applied and commercial research, and small industrial prototyping and production runs. The Glasgow team provides expertise in developing microwave circuit fabrication and verification capabilities with a focus on scalability, coherence, and integration.

About Kelvin Nanotechnology


For further information, please contact:

Dr Ilana Wisby

CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits

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