(ZDNet) Five quantum computing companies, three universities and one national physical laboratory in the UK have come together in a £10 million ($13 million) new project, with an ambitious goal: to spend the next three years trying to make quantum technologies work for businesses.
Called Discovery, the program is partly funded by the UK government and has been pitched as the largest industry-led quantum computing project in the country to date. The participating organizations will dedicate themselves to making quantum technologies that are commercially viable, marking a shift from academic research to implementations that are relevant to, and scalable for, businesses.
The Discovery program will focus on photonic quantum computing, which is based on the manipulation of particles of light – a branch of the field that has shown great promise but is still facing large technological barriers. The companies that are a part of the Discovery program will be addressing this type of technical barrier over the next few years. They include photonics company M Squared, Oxford Ionics, ORCA Computing, Kelvin Nanotechnology and TMD Technologies.
On the other hand, major players like IBM and Google are both developing quantum computers based on superconducting qubits made of electrons, which are particles of matter.
Another key objective of the Discovery program will consist of developing the wider UK quantum ecosystem, by establishing commercial hardware supply and common roadmaps for the industry. This will be crucial to ensure that businesses are coordinating across the board when it comes to adopting quantum technologies.