UK Quantum Body Launches Software Lab

Lab to work with industry to develop quantum software for new applications
Berenice Baker

April 24, 2023

Two women looking at a computer
The NQCC and the University of Edinburgh have launched Quantum Software Lab. Getty

A U.K. quantum software lab has been launched to develop new industry applications for quantum computers that could solve problems classical computers cannot.

The U.K. National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) and the University of Edinburgh launched the Quantum Software Lab through a memorandum of understanding.

The lab, located in Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, aims to overcome challenges to accelerate the development of quantum computing and investigate new ways in which quantum computers can provide benefits.

NQCC chief scientist professor Elham Kashefi is set to lead the team in conducting key research into the development of new quantum software, based on a core program of research called the Quantum Advantage Pathfinder. Researchers from the Lab will work closely with industry partners to understand how quantum computers might help address their problems and offer expertise and education.

“I am delighted that the NQCC is partnering with the University to establish the new Quantum

Software Lab at Edinburgh,” said NQCC director Michael Cuthbert. “This joint endeavor will create a core research capability to address some of the key challenges in developing quantum software, paving the way towards practical applications of quantum computing that can have a real impact on the industry.”

According to the team, advancements in science may enable new applications, and new applications may inspire new research directions. The lab will develop tools for identifying and demonstrating any quantum advantage that one might be achieved for specific practical applications.

The lab aims to support the NQCC’s vision of exploring the potential of quantum computing to address some of the most complex computational challenges.

“In the year the University of Edinburgh marks six decades at the forefront of computer science and artificial intelligence research, we are delighted to partner with the NQCC,” said professor Sir Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.

“That the NQCC’s first software lab has been established here at the University is hugely significant and is indicative of the caliber of quantum researchers in our School of Informatics. Together, I hope we can play a significant role in the development and delivery of emerging quantum technologies.”

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