New £210 million AI and Quantum computing centre in the UK backed by IBM

IBM in partnership with the UK government has launched a new 210-million-pound AI and quantum computing centre in North West England with the hopes that this investment will cement the UK’s global status as a science superpower.

  • The new centre is launched with IBM in order to pave the way for the UK as a science superpower.
  • This investment over the next 5 years is going to give both public and private sectors access to cutting edge quantum technology to boost their innovations.
  • The new centre is going to aid in the creation of 60 new jobs in the Liverpool City Region.

The Hartree National Center for Digital innovation (HNCDI) which is based at the (STFC) Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury laboratory located in the Liverpool City Region is going to create jobs for an additional 60 new scientists and will give students to gain and invaluable practical experience.

The new centre which is a partnership between IBM and STFC is going to bring cutting-edge experience and expertise in AI and quantum computing to boost the application of these breakthrough technologies in industry and in the public sector.

One of the possible applications of quantum computing may be the optimization of complex logistics, namely picking and packing orders in enormous warehouses for supermarkets, other applications may be energy distribution, traffic routing, improving the design, and overall improvement of the manufacturing process in the automotive industry.

The main investment is going to be covered by the UK government with over 172 million pounds over 5 years through its UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and IBM is going to invest an additional 38 million. This year the UK’s government will start by investing 28 million, and in future years the investments should go up.

“Artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential to revolutionize everything from the way we travel to the way we shop.

This fantastic new partnership with IBM will not only help businesses get ready for the future of computing but create 60 jobs in the region – boosting innovation and growing the economy as we build back better from the pandemic.”

Science Minister Amanda Solloway

The HNCDI plan is to make advanced technology like quantum computing and AI more accessible to the private and public sectors in the UK. This investment is also going to break down the barriers to using these technologies. After acquiring the equipment and infrastructure the team of HNCDI experts is also going to provide training and support making sure the UK is at the top science power in terms of quantum computing.

“The world is facing grand challenges which demand a different approach towards science in computing, including AI and quantum computing, to engage a broad community across industry, government, and academia to accelerate discovery in science and business.

This partnership establishes our first Discovery Accelerator in Europe driven by our 2 UK-based IBM Research locations in Hursley and Daresbury as they contribute to our global mission of building discovery-driven communities around the world.”

Dario Gil, Senior Vice President, and Director, IBM Research

Some of the technologies that have transformed our lives for the better, namely the main building blocks of modern computers, mobile technology, the laser, MRI scanners are all products of quantum science. Quantum science is complex and involves harnessing the ways that matter and light behave on atomic or subatomic levels.

The new generation of quantum computers will exploit the breakthroughs that we made in a way that we will be able to precisely manipulate these special properties. Namely to engineer some quantum devices like computers and sensors with enhanced power and functionality.

The centre will work across many different sectors including life sciences, materials, manufacturing, and environment. This work will also include collaborations with academic and industrial research communities, including startups, small to medium enterprises (SME), the public sector, and the government.

“The HNCDI program will foster discovery and provide a stimulus for industry innovation in the UK.

By allowing the industry to access a ready-made community of digital experts and cutting-edge technology, it will provide momentum for new ideas and solutions.

This program has the potential to transform the way the UK industry engages with AI and digital technologies, to the benefit of not just research communities but all of society.”

Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of STFC

About the HNCDI

The HNCDI goals are:

  • To make ideas into practical solutions that would make a benefit for the UK and its industry
  • To find the right technologies needed in order for business more competitive
  • To provide training and sharing knowledge to staff, to take the full advantages of the new digital technologies
  • To support the industry investment into new emerging technologies and make the businesses more resilient

About the STFC Hartree center

The STFC Hartree center’s goal is to transform the UK industry with the aid of quantum computing, AI technologies, and data analysis. As a part of the UK’s Research and Innovation, the Hartree Center is the home of one of the most advanced technologies in the UK, namely quantum computing, AI, and data technologies.
From early-stage SME companies to big corporations. The Hartree Center experts are working with the industry and research community, in order to tackle the real-life challenges and boost the implementation of advanced technologies, technologies that will deliver gains in performance, productivity, and time to market.

About IBM

IBM is the global leader in hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and also a business service provider. Helping customers in more than 175 countries across the world to capitalize from their data and streamline business processes and help them gain a competitive edge in their market. Almost 3000 corporate and government entities are relying on IBM’s hybrid cloud, and Red Hat OpenShift for help to aid their digital transformations, efficiently, securely, and quickly. IBM’s innovations in quantum computing, AI, and cloud solutions are offering flexible options to their clients. All this is backed by IBM’s commitment to trust, responsibility, transparency, inclusivity, and service.

“Our region is already home to world-class digital infrastructure, from the Hartree Supercomputer in Halton to our transatlantic internet cables in Southport, but I want to make sure we’re the most connected region anywhere in the country.

Trains, docks, and canals helped us become the gateway to the First Industrial Revolution, but today our strengths in digital and advanced computing can make us leaders in the Fourth.

Combining our existing digital assets with the new 212km ultrafast full-fiber network we are building across the city region, we will be able to attract jobs, opportunities, and investment from around the country and further afield – like we’re seeing with the HNCDI. I’m sure they’ll be the first of many new digital jobs and companies that are picking the Liverpool City Region to do business.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

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