Professor Sir Peter Knight led the formal breaking-ground ceremony at the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC).
The breaking-ground ceremony of the UK’s NQCC was held this week (20 September 2021), ahead of the commencement of construction works. It was led by Professor Sir Peter Knight, Chair of the National Quantum Technology Programmes Strategy Advisory Board.
Based within the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, the new research institution represents a £93 million investment through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is being delivered jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
The NQCC is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scaling the emerging technologies, enabling the UK to remain at the forefront of this transformative new field.
The national centre is part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP): a 10-year, £1 billion programme that aims to ensure the successful transition of quantum technologies from laboratory to industry.
Marking this milestone event for the centre, Professor Sir Peter Knight, chair of the National Quantum Technology Programmes Strategy Advisory Board, said:
UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:
NQCC Director, Dr Michael Cuthbert said:
Quantum computing has the potential to solve problems that are practically impossible even for the fastest of today’s supercomputers. Unlocking this power will catalyse the development of new technologies to deliver benefits across society.
These range from the design of enhanced batteries for electric vehicles through to speeding up the discovery of new medicines and materials. It includes identifying the most efficient use of resources to help us become an environmentally sustainable society.
The centre will work with businesses, government and the research community to deliver quantum computing capabilities for the UK and support the growth of the emerging industry.
Working closely with industry and research organisations, the NQCC will provide access to quantum computers as they come on stream, leading to new jobs, skills and knowledge creation. This will help UK businesses and researchers to tap into the potential of this technology to develop a range of applications for quantum computing, fully unlocking its capabilities.
The landmark facility will build on the UK’s existing strengths in quantum computing, establishing the NQCC as a world-leading scientific research institution. The ambition is to foster a vibrant environment that promotes collaboration between technologists and researchers and attracts visitors and industry interest from across the UK and internationally.
The mixed provision of office, meeting and laboratory spaces will enable multidisciplinary teams to collaborate, providing the necessary infrastructure and an environment to design, build, operate and host quantum computers.
The facility is due for completion in early 2023.
Source: UK Research and Innovation.
Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). They bring together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more details go to: https://www.ukri.org/