A consortium led by Universal Quantum has been awarded a £7.5m grant from Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to build a scalable quantum computer that can correct its own errors and apply this technology to high-impact problems in the aerospace industry.
The Quantum Error Correction (QEC) consortium includes end-user Rolls-Royce supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre, quantum software developer Riverlane, supply chain partners Edwards, TMD Technologies (now acquired by Communications & Power Industries (CPI)) and Diamond Microwave, commercialisation and dissemination experts Sia Partners and Qureca and world-class academic groups from Imperial College London and the University of Sussex.
Dr. Sebastian Weidt, Co-Founder and CEO at Universal Quantum, said: “Error correction is crucial to achieving anything really useful with quantum computers, so we are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant. This project is an important step forward, helping us to go from today’s proof of principle machines to scalable quantum computers that can solve some of the world’s most pressing computational challenges.”
By working with Rolls-Royce on a specific test case, this consortium is a clear example of quantum computing doing something “useful” for society. In this case, tackling a problem crucial to the development of sustainable aviation fuels and next-generation jet engines.
The QEC consortium will also create a new quantum ecosystem for the UK and boost the burgeoning quantum tech cluster in the Greater Brighton City Region.
Error correction explained
Qubits (quantum bits) are prone to errors and without correcting those errors, quantum computers essentially spit out nonsense when you try and tackle real-world problems. Simply put, without cracking error correction then we can not create a “useful” quantum computer.
Error correction is a software algorithm that’s used to fix those errors, but it’s also a hardware issue. We need (potentially) millions of qubits for error correction to work. Universal Quantum has focused on creating a million-qubit quantum computer from day one, taking a unique approach compared to others in the sector.
If you would like to find more about the QEC consortium, speak to one of the team or request the full press release, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.