The UK government is set to embark on an ambitious plan to develop a national quantum supercomputer within the next ten years, as part of its Autumn Statement announcement. The new supercomputer, which is likely to be hosted by the National Quantum Computing Centre near Oxford, is expected to receive funding of around £200m to £300m. This funding will be drawn from the £2.5bn pledged for a broader 10-year national quantum investment roadmap.
Quantum technology has gained significant attention due to its potential to revolutionize problem-solving capabilities. Research has shown that quantum computers have the ability to solve complex problems in an instant, that would take decades for traditional computers to solve. This has led to quantum development being deemed a national security priority, as it could potentially breach armed forces and bank encryption.
The UK government’s commitment to supporting quantum development has positioned the country as a global first mover in the field. Steve Brierley, Founder and CEO of quantum company Riverlane, praised the financial support, stating that it has created a thriving UK ecosystem, a successful co-investment model, and an early lead in several key technologies.
While the UK is recognized as a leader in quantum research, it has fallen behind in terms of supercomputer performance. A recent ‘Future of Compute Review’ conducted by the government revealed that the UK has dropped from third to tenth place globally. However, the Ministry of Defence has acquired the Government’s first supercomputer to address this gap.
To further support the growth of quantum startups and overcome technical challenges, Innovate UK has allocated £500,000 in funding. This will empower quantum startups to thrive and contribute to the country’s overall quantum development.
Overall, the UK government’s commitment to developing a national quantum supercomputer reflects its dedication to advancing quantum technology. Through increased investment and support, the UK is poised to make significant strides in this groundbreaking field.
What is quantum technology?
Quantum technology involves the use of principles from quantum mechanics to develop new technologies for computing, communication, and more.
What is a quantum supercomputer?
A quantum supercomputer is a powerful computing device that employs quantum bits, or qubits, to perform complex calculations and solve problems at a considerably faster rate than traditional computers.
Why is quantum development a national security priority?
Quantum development is considered a national security priority because of its potential to compromise armed forces and bank encryption systems. The ability to breach these systems poses significant risks to the country.
How is the UK supporting quantum startups?
The UK government, through Innovate UK, has allocated funding of £500,000 to help quantum startups overcome technical challenges and foster their growth in the field. This support aims to create a thriving ecosystem for quantum startups in the UK.