General Technology Quantum People

UKRI appoints Dr. Michael Cuthbert as National Quantum Computing Centre director

March 13, 2021

Dr. Michael Cuthbert was appointed Director of the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) back in February 2020. This is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP). Dr. Cuthbert has led the centre from startup to its current form.

‘I am passionate about quantum computing and its potential to create positive impact on some of society’s biggest challenges, such as climate science and clean energy. I am delighted to have been appointed as Director, and immensely proud to lead the NQCC forward as we move from launch to centre operations. I have no doubt the NQCC will have an important contribution to make to both the UK national programme and with our colleagues internationally.’

Dr. Michael Cuthbert, Director of the NQCC
Dr. Cuthbert will bring much to the NQCC as Interim Director

Prior to being appointed Interim Director, Dr. Cuthbert was Business Development Director and Quantum Technologies Sector lead at Oxford Instruments. He brings a lot of experience to his current role of Director from years of working with quantum technology experts. Some of his other roles are senior leadership, commercial, and even technical roles. This industrial experience will be very beneficial to the NQCC since he also focused on applications in the past. In total, he had been working for Oxford Instruments for a little over 22 years.

The NQCC was founded to ensure that the UK will be at the forefront of quantum computing worldwide, having to compete with many other countries and powers. The Centre will help government agencies, academia, and industry professionals collaborate and support their research projects aimed at improving the UK quantum ecosystem. Originally, the NQCC was founded by UK Research and Innovation, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

As part of phase 2 of the NQTP, the NQCC is an investment of £93 million over 5 years. It will eventually establish 4 technology workstreams as well. With the help of the government, Dr. Cuthbert will work towards developing and constructing a fully scalable and fault-tolerant quantum computer. He will also lead the Centre in supporting startups and suppliers around the UK to develop a strong quantum ecosystem.

By early 2023, the NQCC is scheduled to be open and fully operational.

The NQTP is a 10-year £1 billion plan, launched to accelerate UK quantum development. The four hubs the NQTP has specialised in over the years are sensors and timing, quantum enhanced imaging, quantum computing and simulation, and quantum communications technologies. The NQTP will also work with academia and industry to help the UK become the first quantum-ready economy in the world.

‘Michael has already proven in his interim position that he has the knowledge and leadership to drive forward this ambitious project to transform the UK’s capabilities in quantum technology. This is a great appointment and I have every faith that Michael will successfully realise the ambitions for the NQCC and navigate the centre to the forefront of the national quantum community.’

Prof. Mark Thomson, STFC Executive Chair

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