Monday 5th February 2024
Aegiq, the Sheffield-headquartered technology start-up, is amongst the winners of a £30 million quantum testbed competition funded by the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC), designed to drive innovation in quantum computing and enhance the UK’s capabilities. Aegiq is among the seven companies delivering different types of quantum computers to be installed at the NQCC facilities. These technologies were chosen to accelerate the growth of the UK’s supply base, increase adoption of quantum computing, and to explore understanding of technology readiness by both private and public sector.
The contract will be used to deliver Artemis, Aegiq’s compact photonic quantum computer and a dedicated user interface for integration with NQCC testbed ecosystem. The Artemis hardware is based on Aegiq’s proprietary integrated photonic chip technology as well as utilising low-loss silicon nitride platform from QuiX Quantum. Artemis will provide a starting point to tackle problems that cannot be solved by conventional computers, impacting most sectors including energy, finance and defence. It will be built over the next 14 months and installed by Q1 2025 at the NQCC, ready for operation.
CEO of Aegiq, Maksym Sich, said:
We are very excited to unveil our quantum computing system Artemis and announce the NQCC as a launch customer for it. This marks an important milestone on our technology development roadmap for making practical quantum systems solving real-life problems.
Last year, we published our seven-point plan, which focused on the importance of the UK Government being the first customer of quantum technologies. We firmly believe that government-backed capital, as a strategic partner, is the key to turbocharging the UK quantum industry and competing on the global scale.
Competitions like this one will stimulate confidence among private customers and encourage investment.
The £30 million competition has been delivered through Innovate UK under the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) framework. During the project duration, the lead contractors will undertake activities which include R&D, building, testing, and validating their integrated quantum computing testbed solutions for the NQCC.
Co-founded in 2019 by a leadership team consisting of Maksym Sich, Andrii Iamshanov and Scott Dufferwiel, Aegiq has its roots in the technology developed at the Sheffield Quantum Centre, where Scott and Max completed PhDs, as well as in Ukraine, where Max and Andrii are originally from.
The NQCC competition results are part of the £45 million government investment into the quantum technology sector announced today.
The Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Andrew Griffith MP, said:
As we steer towards an economy benefitting from quantum, this further £45 million in funding underscores our commitment to support bright UK innovators who are pushing boundaries and seizing the potential of this technology to transform our public services.
The UK is already one global leader in quantum and to maintain that position this government will continue to invest in this transformational technology propelling the UK into a new era of technological prowess and economic growth.
Congratulating the testbed competition winners, Dr Michael Cuthbert, NQCC’s Director commented:
NQCC seeks to accelerate the development of the UK’s quantum computing capabilities and infrastructure. There is a growing realisation across the industry that quantum developers need access to the hardware to engineer scalable solutions for a full-stack quantum computer.
Once built, these system-level prototypes will help the NQCC and its collaborators to understand the unique characteristics of different hardware approaches, establish appropriate metrics for each qubit architecture, and explore the types of applications that benefit most from each technological approach.
That will feed directly into the NQCC’s ongoing engagement with organisations across academia, industry, and government to develop use cases for early-stage quantum computers, and to identify the innovations that will be needed to accelerate the development and adoption of this transformative technology.
Notes to Editors
- Aegiq is a spin-out from the University of Sheffield and is on a mission to deliver the first quantum computing platform with tangible results and benefits.
- Aegiq’s leadership team brings decades of experience in multiple areas including business and development, engineering, and quantum science.
- The company uses its unique hybrid integrated photonics approach to unlock economies of scale for quantum technology.
- Already offering a portfolio of products and solutions covering frontier cybersecurity, quantum networking, quantum-enhanced sensing, and quantum computing, Aegiq helps governments and global leaders in R&D, telecommunications, defence & aerospace, financial, and advanced manufacturing sectors to stay ahead of the tech curve.
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