UK’s first quantum computer receives £10m funding

South East | Technology

The UK’s first quantum computer to be commercially available to businesses will be located in Abingdon in Oxfordshire – and will receive £10m in government funding.

The new machine will be developed alongside experts from Oxford, London, Bristol and Edinburgh, and forms part of the government’s ambition for the UK to become the world’s first quantum-ready economy.

Backed by £10m government and industry investment, this new machine will strengthen the UK’s offer to businesses wanting to explore how they could harness the power of quantum computing in the future.

Quantum computing offers the chance for businesses to find better or quicker ways to solve problems, many of which are not possible using standard computers. Industries including pharmaceuticals, aerospace and transport that substantially contribute to the UK economy are set to benefit most. This is because this technology could help them to accelerate the discovery of new drug treatments, improve the efficiency of global supply chains including across food, automotive and aerospace sectors, and cut road traffic in towns and cities, shortening people’s commuting times while reducing pollution levels – and benefiting people’s lives and businesses.

The new quantum computer will be developed by tech company Rigetti Computing, which also developed a cloud-based platform allowing computer programmers to write quantum algorithms. It will work alongside Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered and Bristol and London-based quantum software start-up Phasecraft, as well as the University of Edinburgh.

Rigetti’s decision to base the computer in the UK is testament to the country’s strong network of leading companies and talent focused on this emerging technology.

CEO of Rigetti Computing Chad Rigetti said: “We are excited to deliver the UK’s first quantum computer and help accelerate the development of practical algorithms and applications. By providing access to quantum hardware, the collaboration aims to unlock new capabilities within the thriving UK ecosystem of quantum information science researchers, start-ups, and enterprises who have already begun to explore the potential impact of quantum computing.”

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