The UK government has committed £235 million in funding towards the establishment of a National Quantum Computing Centre as part of its Autumn budget.
The Centre will be delivered by the UK Research and Innovation body which works in collaboration with industry and universities.
Also included in its scheduled projects over the next five years is the creation of Centres for Doctoral training aiming to draw more people into the quantum field.
Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright commented in a released statement that: “The new National Quantum Computing Centre will allow businesses and universities to pave the way for the development of this emerging technology in the UK and help solve problems today’s computers are unable to address.”
“With this new funding for the National Quantum Technology Programme, alongside Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund commitments, we are extremely well placed to realise the commercial and social benefits of this groundbreaking innovation.”
National Quantum Computing Centre
In classical computer science a bit has two states, 1 or 0, it is always one or the other, never both. However, subatomic particles can exist in more than one state, a phenomenon often referred to as quantum entanglement. Quantum computing takes advantage of this.
Think of a globe; a bit with two states can be at the North Pole or the South of the globe. A Qubit can be put in an entangled state so it can be at the two poles the same as the bit, but it can also be anywhere on the globe at the same time.
Quantum computing can fit more information into each Qubit due to the extra space opened up by entanglement. This allows for more computational power with the added advantage of using less energy than a traditional computer.
Business Secretary Greg Clark commented in the announcement that: “There is a huge future for cutting edge science in the UK which is why we are investing in ambitious technologies, like quantum, in our modern Industrial Strategy.”
“Quantum technology has already developed sensors that can visualise the invisible deep underground, and see round corners. It makes the impossible, possible and now we are backing UK innovators to continue this world-leading work.”