HMG and IBM invest £210m in AI and quantum computing centre

A £210 million investment by the government and IBM to establish the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI), based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory in the Liverpool City Region, will create vacancies for 60 scientists and opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in quantum computing and AI. Industrial applications of quantum computing include optimising complex logistics such as picking and packing orders in large warehouses for supermarkets; traffic routing; energy distribution; improving design and manufacturing processes across automotive sectors. The government will invest £172 million over five years through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with an additional £38 million being invested by IBM. £28 million of the Government’s investment will be in the first year. The transformational technologies – computers, the mobile phone’s, lasers, MRI scanners – are all products of quantum science – involving harnessing the unique ways that light and matter behave at tiny atomic or subatomic levels. A new generation of quantum technologies exploit breakthroughs in the way that we are able to precisely manipulate and measure these special properties, to engineer quantum devices – like sensors and computers – with dramatically enhanced functionality and performance. The centre will work across sectors including materials, life sciences, environment and manufacturing. This will include collaboration with academic and industrial research communities, including start-ups and SMEs, public sector, and government. The HNCDI aims to: Turn ideas into practical digital solutions to maximise benefit for UK industry Find the right technologies needed for projects to succeed and make businesses more competitive Provide training and skills to staff, in order to take full advantage of digital technologies Support industry investment in emerging technologies to make businesses more resilient