The University of Oxford has become the first client to use the early-access, commercial quantum computing network of IBM.
Oxford University will be an initial member of the newly formed IBM Q Network from a select group of Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs.
The group and IBM will explore practical applications for their quantum computing systems.
Oxford and IBM are allocating considerable resources to the field of quantum computing, developing hardware and software solutions for research and commercial applications.
The Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Hub, a consortium of UK universities and industry partners, will lead the collaboration at Oxford, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Serving as the IBM Q Network Hub in the UK, Oxford will support others in using the systems and collaborating with companies and other universities on NQIT and Oxford research into quantum computing.
As part of efforts to position the UK as a leader in the development of software and algorithms for quantum computers, NQIT is developing its own quantum computer based on networked hybrid light-matter approach.
The objective is to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology in areas such as medicine, engineering, transport, finance, materials and chemistry.
NQIT Hub director and pro-vice-chancellor for research and innovation Ian Walmsley said: “I am delighted with this new partnership with IBM.
“Working with one of the world’s leading information technology companies to develop new applications for a quantum computer will enhance Oxford’s and the UK’s capability in quantum technology, by providing a unique resource for the Oxford-led Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub.
“NQIT’s emulator programme will work with IBM to convene scientists, engineers and industrial researchers and developers across a wider range of fields, from simulating new molecules to enhancing artificial intelligence to show how quantum computers can dramatically transform their ideas and businesses.”