Six weeks ago, the breaking-ground ceremony for the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) was held at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. A symbolic moment, it marked a transition from planning and design to construction and operations of the Centre, a significant milestone on its path to facilitating the development of quantum computing in the UK. Today we’re delighted to announce our collaboration with the NQCC to boost the UK’s quantum capability.
The NQCC’s ambition is to address the challenge of scaling in quantum computing and deliver a 100+ qubit machine by 2025. It will require collaborative efforts across academia, government and industry. Our collaboration is the first endeavour to develop quantum capability in the country by providing access to quantum hardware. It will also fuel the commercialisation of quantum computing resources and help advance the UK’s quantum readiness agenda.
Bolstering the UK quantum community and the country’s quantum-readiness
Together we will foster the UK quantum user community by providing businesses, academics and the Government with early access to UK-designed and UK-built quantum technology. This is the first collaboration of this kind in the country, a significant milestone for the industry.
“I am delighted that OQC and NQCC are taking a leadership role together to establish user access in support of our shared quantum readiness objectives. Building a user community and driving early adoption of quantum computing resources is a core objective of the NQCC and I am excited to be able to do this with a UK company, developing UK technology for UK users with data held onshore here in the UK. The quantum computing roadmap is a long and complex one, today marks an important step on that journey.” – Dr Michael Cuthbert, Director of the NQCC.
Since the launch of the UK’s first commercial quantum computer in 2018, OQC is paving the way for quantum technologies in the country. In July this year we doubled-down and launched Europe’s first Quantum Computing as-a Service (QCaaS) with our own cloud access, clearly demonstrating our intention to front the continent’s effort on quantum. The combination of OQC’s leading technology and the NQCC’s reach and end user community in the country will boost access to quantum computing resources for UK-based users.
From January 2022, selected users will be getting access to a range of quantum systems and capability, from UK-best to prototype quantum hardware. This will support their research and development endeavours. Businesses will also get access to expertise to better understand their quantum readiness, the use cases for quantum in their industry and for short and long term investments required.
Securing quantum data, talent and capital in the UK
The collaboration will also answer some of the main concerns still expressed by end users. Data ‘on-shoring’ is one the NQCC and OQC are very often asked to develop strategies for and lead the charge on. Quantum computing is a technology of national strategic importance and with it come significant responsibilities. We are expected to deliver solutions.
Crucially, this collaboration will therefore support ‘data on-shoring’, using technology designed and built in the UK, with cloud servers located in the country, thus alleviating data privacy and security concerns for end users, especially large ones.
As a result, we are also convinced that the new quantum capability will attract investors and talent to the UK, supporting the UK economy and working towards securing a lion’s share of the GBP20 billion market cloud-based quantum computing represents.
“OQC is proud to be an instrumental part of the next revolution in technology. This new collaboration is a testament to our strategy of building the core and partnering with the best. Early adopters of OQC’s technology will be given a chance to further experiment with quantum and get competitive advantages in their industry. This is another step for us, together with the NQCC, in helping cement the country’s role on the global quantum scene.” – Dr. Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC