British government and IBM together to build £210M AI & quantum computing centre in Daresbury

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Modern-day complex problems require power-packed technological solutions to revamp industrial growth. UK government is stepping into helping industries get maximum access to the latest technology and modernising by establishing an AI and quantum computing centre in Daresbury, Cheshire.

£210m centre to get businesses future-ready

The government will invest £172m over five years through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with a further investment of £38m from computing giant IBM. The centre is now aimed at developing next-generation computers using AI and quantum computing technologies to help out the businesses future-ready.

The Centre will be operated through collaboration between IBM and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) programme will create 60 new job and exciting opportunities for students to witness complex problem solving through technology application.

Business function advancement

Further, the centre will support AI & Quantum Computing application to tasks such as optimising complex logistics, power grid distribution, designing and manufacturing, traffic management, warehouse management and product innovation.

HNCDI will work with different sectors, including materials, life sciences, environment and manufacturing. It will also engage in collaboration with academic and industrial research communities, startups as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Ms Solloway, the science minister said quantum computing and AI were “not just far-fetched ideas, but real technologies that are already transforming our lives. Artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential to revolutionise everything from the way we travel to the way we shop. The building blocks of everyday products like your laptop or your phone are already products of quantum technology, harnessing the unique ways that light and matter behave at tiny atomic or subatomic levels.”

Further, she added, “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.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the centre’s aim was to make “cutting-edge technologies like AI and quantum computing more accessible to businesses and public sector organisations”.

“As well as breaking down practical barriers to using new technologies, the team of experts will also provide training and support to make sure the UK is at the forefront of the next generation of computing,” he added.

Prof Mark Thomson, STFC’s executive chairman said that by “allowing industry to access a ready-made community of digital experts and cutting-edge technology, it will provide momentum for new ideas and solutions”.

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

Senior VP and Director of IBM Research, Mr Dario Gil said that “This partnership establishes our first Discovery Accelerator in Europe driven by our two UK-based IBM Research locations in Hursley and Daresbury as they contribute to our global mission of building discovery-driven communities around the world.”

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