(Sifted) UK quantum software company Riverlane announced today it has hired a former White House expert.
Jake Taylor has been made chief science officer. Taylor was the assistant director for quantum information science at the White House from 2017 to 2020, leading the creation of the US National Quantum Initiative, bipartisan legislation aimed at advancing quantum technology in the country.
Riverlane is not building a quantum computer themself, but an operating system that would work across different types of quantum computers.
Error correction — one of the biggest hurdles for the quantum sector — will be a key focus for Taylor and his team at Riverlane. Quantum bits are extremely susceptible to “noise” — such as stray magnetic fields or material defects — and these can be hard to correct on machines that have a small number of qubits. Given that the biggest machines still have fewer than 100 qubits, error correction will be essential to put machines to practical work.
Taylor is the latest in a steady stream of scientists joining quantum startups in the past year. Valerii Vinokur joined Switzerland’s Terra Quantum from the Argonne National Laboratory in March while Jon Martinis, who built Google’s first computer to achieve quantum supremacy, left the tech giant to join Silicon Quantum Computing, in Australia.