• Launch celebrates Prospects for Quantum Computing
    The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, visited STFC's Daresbury Laboratory for the official opening of PsiQuantum's new quantum computing centre (Credit: STFC and PsiQuantum)

News & Views

Launch celebrates Prospects for Quantum Computing

Oct 13 2023

Firmly establishing its mission to build the world’s first large scale quantum computer, Silicon Valley start-up PsiQuantum celebrated the launch event of its next-generation quantum computing centre at the Science and Technology facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory at the beginning of October.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan marked the official opening of the centre which, backed by £9 million of UK government funding, is the company’s  first research and development (R&D) facility anywhere outside of the US.

“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 Secretary Michelle Donelan.

“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.”

Based at Sci-tech Daresbury Science Park in the Liverpool City Region, the new facility will have vital access to STFC’s leading cryogenics experts and will lead on the development of advanced cryogenic systems, necessary for PsiQuantum’s single-photon detectors which run at temperatures a few degrees above absolute zero (equivalent to −273.15°C).

Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said: “We are completely committed to working with PsiQuantum in its mission to build the world’s first large-scale quantum computer. With the wealth of quantum engineering talent here in the UK, together we are poised to achieve significant breakthroughs in quantum computing, with the potential to transform the world we live in.”

During the launch event, PsiQuantum also announced a new collaboration with STFC’s Hartree Centre which, aims to cultivate and support practical industrial applications in preparation for the advent of large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computing.

Professor Mark Thompson, PsiQuantum Co-Founder and Chief Technologist said: "The existing cryogenic infrastructure and scientific talent available to us at Daresbury Laboratory was a key reason behind our decision to choose the UK as our first global expansion site.

“We are also delighted to be working together with the Hartree Centre to develop fault-tolerant applications in anticipation of the arrival of utility-scale quantum computing.

Kate Royse, Director of the STFC Hartree Centre, said: “Quantum computing is set to change the world we live in, to transform industry and change our lives for the better. By bringing together the experience and capabilities of both the Hartree Centre and PsiQuantum, we are developing a capability in quantum technologies that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of this field. This is an exciting stepping stone towards building a significant and resilient quantum computing ecosystem for the North West.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region also attended the launch event: “Our area has been an architect to some of the greatest inventions and discoveries that have transformed the world – and it’s a legacy we’re proud to be continuing today.

“I want to establish the Liverpool City Region as a hotbed of innovation and new technology, and I’m confident that facilities like this will ensure that we can continue to attract highly skilled, well-paid jobs and opportunities from around the world to our area. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this partnership.”

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