Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, September 28, 2020
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Rigetti Computing to Lead £10M Consortium to Launch First Commercial Quantum Computer in UK 

LONDON, Sept. 2, 2020 — Rigetti UK announced it will lead a £10 million consortium to accelerate the commercialization of quantum computing in the UK. The three-year program will build and operate the first quantum computer in the UK, make it available to partners and customers over the cloud, and pursue practical applications in machine learning, materials simulation, and finance. Rigetti is joined by Oxford Instruments, University of Edinburgh, quantum software start-up Phasecraft, and Standard Chartered Bank.

“Our ambition is to be the world’s first quantum-ready economy, which could provide UK businesses and industries with billions of pounds worth of opportunities,”  said Science Minister Amanda Solloway. “Therefore, I am delighted that companies across the country will have access to our first commercial quantum computer, to be based in Abingdon. This is a key part of our plan to build back better using the latest technology, attract the brightest and best talent to the UK and encourage world-leading companies to invest here.”

Many industries central to the UK economy are poised to benefit from quantum computing, including finance, energy, and pharmaceuticals. A recent BCG report projected the global quantum industry to reach £4B by 2024.

“We are excited to deliver the UK’s first quantum computer and help accelerate the development of practical algorithms and applications,” said Chad Rigetti, CEO of Rigetti Computing. By providing access to quantum hardware, the collaboration aims to unlock new capabilities within the thriving UK ecosystem of quantum information science researchers, start-ups, and enterprises who have already begun to explore the potential impact of quantum computing.

Rigetti will build the superconducting quantum computer in a Proteox dilution refrigerator provided by Oxford Instruments. The University of Edinburgh will develop new ways of testing quantum hardware and verifying the performance of quantum programs and will work with Standard Chartered Bank to advance quantum machine learning applications for finance. In addition, Phasecraft will use its deep knowledge of quantum algorithms and high-efficiency quantum software to harness this hardware for near-term applications in materials design, energy, and pharmaceuticals.

In addition to delivering a practical quantum computer in the UK, a key goal of the initiative is to further develop the country’s quantum computing talent, infrastructure, and national supply chain, and to advance the high-performance computing industry.

“The UK is investing in quantum technologies not only to create society-changing products and services but also to grow talent and expertise, create new jobs and turn outstanding science into economic prosperity,” said Roger McKinlay, challenge director for quantum technologies at UK Research and Innovation. “I am delighted that Rigetti—a global leader in quantum computing—have chosen to invest in the UK through this project, building on the close relationships they have already forged with UK companies and research organizations.”

The consortium is backed by £10 million government and industry investment, including funding from the government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research & Innovation.

About Rigetti UK

Rigetti UK Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rigetti Computing. Rigetti builds superconducting quantum computing systems and delivers access to them over the cloud. These systems are optimized for integration with existing computing infrastructure and tailored to support the development of practical software and applications. Learn more at rigetti.com.

About Oxford Instruments NanoScience

Oxford Instruments NanoScience designs, supplies and supports market-leading research tools that enable quantum technologies, new materials and device development in the physical sciences. Our tools support research down to the atomic scale through creation of high performance, cryogen free low temperature and magnetic environments, based upon our core technologies in low and ultra-low temperatures, high magnetic fields and system integration, with ever-increasing levels of experimental and measurement readiness.

About Phasecraft

Phasecraft is a UK quantum software startup whose goal is to get the most out of near-term quantum computers. The company’s contributions range from underpinning mathematics through to developing software on real or emulated quantum hardware. The Phasecraft team uses expertise in the theory of quantum computing to solve the hardest problems in this area.

About The University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics

With over 100 academics, 120 research staff and over 1,600 students from over 80 countries worldwide the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics is the largest European centre of its kind. It is ranked 23rd in QS World University Ranking for Computer Science and 24th in THES World University Ranking for Computer Science. It is among the top institutions in the UK for research power. Working in this rich and fertile environment Professor Kashefi’s group has pioneered a trans-disciplinary research environment investigating all aspects of quantum information processing from protocols design towards experimental implementation all the way to actual industrial applications.

About Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank is a leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world’s most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Standard Chartered’s Data Science & Innovation group, with a proven research track record in quantum computing and machine learning/AI, has been active in quantum computing since 2017. SC Ventures is the bank’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures unit, focused on developing an innovation culture and mindset, deepening capabilities and experimenting with new business models through an open platform and network of people and partnerships.


Source: Rigetti 

About the author: Tiffany Trader

With over a decade’s experience covering the HPC space, Tiffany Trader is one of the preeminent voices reporting on advanced scale computing today.

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