University of Sussex spin-out led consortium awarded millions to build commercial quantum computer
A consortium led by Universal Quantum, a University of Sussex spin-out company, has been awarded a £7.5m grant from Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to build a scalable quantum computer that can correct its own errors and apply this technology to high-impact problems in the aerospace industry.
The consortium will tackle a major challenge in making quantum computers commercially viable, correcting the errors that quantum bits – qubits – are prone to. It will bring together quantum experts with world-class engineers and UK businesses, creating a new quantum ecosystem for the UK and boosting the burgeoning quantum tech cluster in the Greater Brighton City Region.
The consortium comprises sector leaders covering key areas of quantum computing development. Aside from Universal Quantum, it includes world-class academic groups from the University of Sussex and Imperial College London, end-user Rolls-Royce, supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, quantum software developer Riverlane, supply chain partners Edwards, TMD Technologies and Diamond Microwave, and commercialisation and dissemination experts Sia Partners and Qureca.
Dr Sebastian Weidt, Co-Founder and CEO at Universal Quantum and Lecturer in Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex, said: “Error correction is crucial to achieve anything really useful with quantum computers, so we are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant. This project is an important step forward, helping us to go from today’s proof of principle machines to scalable quantum computers that can solve some of the world’s most pressing computational challenges.”
Professor David Maguire, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “In the three years since the University partnered with Professor Winfried Hensinger and Dr Sebastian Weidt to support the launch of Universal Quantum, their ground-breaking work to build a large-scale quantum computer has attracted millions of pounds of investor funding and international interest.
“We’re delighted to see the work of this consortium of leading industry players, led by Universal Quantum, recognized and backed by Government via Innovate UK, bringing further vital investment into Brighton’s growing quantum tech sector.”