NQCC opens first software lab at The University of Edinburgh

Two men shaking hands with table in front of them

The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) and The University of Edinburgh have opened a software lab, dedicated to serving the complex needs of the centre.

The occasion was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding by both parties with the core aim to support the NQCC in developing a quantum software and applications centre that:

  • attracts talent
  • trains the next generation workforce
  • provides scientific expertise to stakeholders
  • builds the capability to solve the key scientific challenges facing quantum computation

The Quantum Software Lab will be based at the Edinburgh School of Informatics and will be led by NQCC Chief Scientist, Professor Elham Kashefi, with support from a team of leading researchers.

Building a quantum community

This latest addition to the NQCC research infrastructure will be the research backbone of its flagship SparQ programme.

The SparQ Applications Discovery Programme is for UK-based companies and researchers, who are interested in exploring the potential of quantum computing.

The programme’s aims are to:

  • enable the discovery and development of quantum computing applications
  • enhance quantum literacy
  • facilitate knowledge exchange through networking to form a UK quantum user community

The NQCC Software Lab will support these aims by developing quantum computing software for a variety of users as well as providing expert support and advice to businesses and researchers. It will also provide facilities to teach emerging academic leaders in quantum software and algorithms.

Addressing key challenges

Dr Michael Cuthbert, NQCC Director said:

I am delighted that the NQCC is partnering with the University to establish the new Quantum Software Lab at Edinburgh.

This joint endeavour will create a core research capability to address some of the key challenges in developing quantum software, paving the way towards practical applications of quantum computing that can have a real impact on the industry.

Delivering of emerging quantum technologies

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said:

In the year the University of Edinburgh marks six decades at the forefront of computer science and artificial intelligence research, we are delighted to partner with the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC).

That the NQCC’s first software lab has been established here at the University is hugely significant and is indicative of the calibre of quantum researchers in our School of Informatics.

Together, I hope we can play a significant role in the development and delivery of emerging quantum technologies.

Next generation technology

The NQCC is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

It is based within the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire and supported by a network of researchers across the UK.

It is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scaling emerging quantum technologies, enabling the UK to remain at the forefront of this transformative new field.

You can find out more about the NQCC Software Lab and the ongoing development of the NQCC on the NQCC website.

You can read the full UK National Quantum Strategy which includes reference to the NQCC Software Lab and its place in the UK quantum landscape on the UK government website.

Top image:  NQCC Director, Dr Michael Cuthbert (right) and Vice Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh, Professor Iain Gordon (left) signing the memorandum of understanding marking the opening of the first NQCC software lab. Credit: NQCC

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