DARESBURY, England, Oct. 9, 2023 — At the official opening of PsiDaresbury, the new STFC-PsiQuantum R&D facility, PsiQuantum announced that it is beginning work with STFC’s Hartree Centre, with the support of the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), on a 12-month project to develop Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing (FTQC) applications in the UK. Insights from this work will be shared across government and with collaborative industry partners.
The event was hosted by PsiQuantum co-founders Terry Rudolph, Chief Architect, and Mark Thompson, Chief Technologist, and included remarks from the Rt. Hon. Michelle Donelan, MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology; Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region; Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of the STFC; Paul Vernon, Executive Director, STFC; Professor Sir Peter Knight, Quantum Optics and Senior Research Investigator, Imperial College London; Professor Elham Kashefi, Chief Scientist, NQCC; Michael Cuthbert, Director, NQCC; and Kate Royse, Director, Hartree Centre.
PsiQuantum’s advanced R&D facility at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory is backed by £9M of funding from the UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), and gives the company access to one of Europe’s largest liquid-helium (approx. -270°C) cryogenic plants. Working with Daresbury Laboratory experts specialized in large-scale cryogenic infrastructure, PsiQuantum is developing next generation cryogenic quantum modules with the highest cryogenic cooling power deployed to date, representing a major step towards large-scale quantum computers capable of solving commercially relevant problems. PsiQuantum’s first cryogenic quantum modules are already up and running, with a capacity of over 10x previous systems.
Because large-scale, fault tolerant quantum computers will be the first machines able to run commercially valuable applications, their advent is widely expected to trigger the start of a major transformation across industries, including healthcare, sustainability, financial services and defense, with McKinsey forecasting US$1 trillion (GBP800 million) of value at stake globally. Moreover, access to FTQC capacity will be limited and in high demand, so early movers will gain significant competitive advantage. This is why forward-looking government and industry stakeholders are already developing the required skills ahead of the arrival of the first fault tolerant quantum computers.
The Hartree Centre is a high-performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) government research facility and is part of the of the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus. The centre helps provide UK industry and academia with access to advanced high-performance computing technologies, expertise and training with the aim of boosting UK economic growth.
This project builds on the Centre’s longstanding access to industry and applications know-how, and brings in PsiQuantum’s deep expertise in FTQC algorithm development. The collaboration has three aims:
- Build a strong FTQC knowledge base at the Hartree Centre
- Identify the most valuable and high impact problem statements for government and industry
- Develop algorithms that will underpin two high-priority applications.
The program of work includes FTQC training to build necessary skills at the Hartree Centre; thematic workshops addressing a suite of problem statements relevant to critical computational challenges for dual-use technology applications; and two industrially-relevant use cases.
“PsiQuantum choosing to take the next crucial steps in the development of their technology here in the UK is a resounding vote of confidence in the UK’s quantum capabilities, bolstered by our National Quantum Strategy” said Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Rt. Hon. Michelle Donelan MP. “We are determined to drive the adoption of quantum technologies throughout our economy, with £2.5 billion backing over the next 10 years, to unlock untold advances in healthcare, green technology, and beyond.”
PsiQuantum’s mission is to build and deploy the world’s first useful quantum computer. The company was founded on the premise that commercially valuable quantum computing systems will require fault tolerance and error correction, demanding a very large-scale system implementation. The company believes that it has the fastest and most feasible path to a large-scale fault-tolerant system, based largely on existing technologies and infrastructure – including high-volume semiconductor manufacturing, packaging, and high-power cryogenic systems.