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Interim leadership team announced for National Quantum Computing Centre



An interim leadership team has been appointed to drive forward the development of the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre.


Press release from UKRI
February 28th 2020 | 1 readers

Dr Michael Cuthbert
Dr Michael Cuthbert
The centre will place the UK at the forefront of quantum computing, bringing together academia, business and government to address key challenges such as the scalability of this transformative new technology.

It is being created as part of the second phase of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, a ten-year, £1 billion programme to accelerate the development of quantum technologies, and will be established with a £93 million investment managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The leadership team will be responsible for the design of the centre, including its operating model and community engagement, development of the process to determine technology platform priorities and the design of the building.

As part of their work, they will engage broadly with key stakeholders in government, academia and industry to establish a user community, create a roadmap for the development programme and establish a centre at the heart of the UK’s quantum computing community. The team brings together expertise and experience from across the UK’s quantum technology sector.

Dr Michael Cuthbert, Business Development Director and Quantum Technologies Sector lead at Oxford Instruments, has been appointed as Director of the centre.

Ash Vadgama, Principal Computational Scientist at AWE PLC, has been appointed Deputy Director for Operations. Professor Simon Benjamin, Professor of Quantum Technologies at the University of Oxford, has been appointed Deputy Director for Research, and Dr Simon Plant, Innovation Lead for Quantum Technologies at Innovate UK, part of UKRI, has been appointed Deputy Director for Innovation.

Dr Michael Cuthbert, Business Development Director and Quantum Technologies Sector lead at Oxford Instruments, said: "I am honoured and hugely excited to lead the establishment of the National Quantum Computing Centre, which will bring together a wealth of talent and experience from across the UK.

“Quantum computing has the potential to be both a disruptive and transformative technology. In the creation of the NQCC, UKRI continues to demonstrate its ambition not only to nurture great science and develop leading edge technologies in the UK but also to ensure that economic impact is realised in the UK. The NQCC will be at the heart of this endeavour."

Ash Vadgama, Principal Computational Scientist at AWE PLC, said: “I’m honoured to join the interim leadership team to help develop the National Quantum Computing Centre.

“I look forward to working with UKRI, academia, industry and government in attracting UK and International talent across a wide range of disciplines to help us deliver world-class quantum computing technologies in unison with the UK’s Tiered Computing Services.”

Professor Simon Benjamin, Professor of Quantum Technologies at the University of Oxford, said: “The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science.

“There's now an international race to take the science out of the lab and realise practical technologies. I believe the National Quantum Computing Centre can give the UK the edge it needs to turn scientific excellence into a vibrant ecosystem involving academia, government, organisations, industry and startups.”

Dr Simon Plant, Innovation Lead for Quantum Technologies at Innovate UK, said: “I am delighted to be joining the team tasked with establishing a centre of excellence to deliver a national capability in quantum computing.

“The National Quantum Computing Centre will enable accelerated development of hardware and software, helping to drive the growth of a vibrant quantum industry and wider end user community here in the UK. I look forward to working with partners across sectors, recognising that the centre will act as a beacon to develop partnerships internationally.”

The development of the centre is being led by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Science and Technologies Facilities Council. Further information on its development will be provided later in the year.


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