back to article Quantum compute boffins called up to get national UK centre organised for some NISQy business

An interim management team for the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQQC) has been named with responsibility to get the centre built and sketch out its priorities. The project has been funded by UK Research and Innovation to the tune of £93m over five years - a fraction of the funding provided by the US government for the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

    I'm glad to hear you say that, but what metric are you using to justify it ?

    As far as I know, everybody has been working on quantum computing and the UK is not the one where the big breakthroughs are being made. Google declared one, Princeton University declared another. Where's the UK great achievement that makes it a world leader ?

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

      It's not so much some single great achievement, but an accumulated expertise and significant level and quality of research output.

      1. bobdylan123

        Re: "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

        That what they were asking - what are these 'quality report outcomes'?

        (FWIW I have no opinion on the merits of the claim, for or against)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

      "quantum computing" != "quantum computing science"

    3. Androgynous Cow Herd
      Joke

      Re: "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

      Actually they meant "The UK has long both been and not been a world leader in Quantum Computing"

      1. streaky

        Re: "The UK has long been a world leader in quantum computing science"

        10/10 for effort but your jokes are still binary..

  2. Alister Silver badge

    Have the NQQC spoken to Ron Rivest recently, I wonder?

  3. Glen 1 Silver badge

    Blue Streak/Nuclear Weapons

    It'll be rockets and nukes all over again.

    Were not doing it to be a competitor, were doing it so we can by the American quantum computers. The Americans will sell to us so a) well stop competing b) They can keep the best stuff for themselves.

    See also: f22 Vs f35

    1. MJB7 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Blue Streak/Nuclear Weapons

      * we're, * we're, *buy, *we'll, *they

      That was truly painful to read.

  4. s. pam
    FAIL

    Kinda superb, but.....

    The Met Office blown billions and still cannot tell us a reliable weather prediction, or a semi-estimated weather prediction.

    All this newfangled crap is good for is making the vendors rich.

    How about we take the £93M and apply it for taking better care of in-need OAP's, etc or hiring more doctors, nurses or doing upkeep on our hospitals first!

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Kinda superb, but.....

      93M is a drop in the ocean for solving any of those, but might help get some quantum computing working, whiuch will speed up reasearch and make those more effective.

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Kinda superb, but.....

        93M is a drop in the ocean for solving any of those, but might help get some quantum computing working, whiuch will speed up reasearch and make those more effective.

        It's also a drop in the ocean for quantum computing. US are spending $1.2 billion over five years. In August, Germany's federal government announced a quantum initiative worth €650 million. Independently of that, the European Union is putting €1bn into its Quantum Technologies Flagship. China has just spent $400 million on a national lab.

        The British, as usual, are bringing up the rear with a bit of small change and a load of bollocks about it being sufficient to "give the UK the edge it needs to turn scientific excellence into a vibrant ecosystem". It's like putting up a rowing boat against a fleet of battleships.

        1. Spamfast
          Flame

          Re: Kinda superb, but.....

          £93 million for QC research ...

          ... £100 million per year for British MPs' expenses.

          Just MPs' expenses - total running costs of the Houses Of Parliament including MPs' remuneration & expenses for the scum, sorry, cream of society who occasionally deign to appear in the other place is in the 10-to-the-ninth order of magnitude.

          Also, we're about to spend £10 billion refurbishing the Palace of Westminster, estimated. (*hollow laugh* HS2, Holyrood, etc, etc.)

          If we knocked it down and built a new one that's more fit for purpose I'm sure it could be done for a couple of billion - less if they built it in Birmingham or Manchester which would massively reduce the average commute for MPs & peers, and hopefully their expenses claims.

          I seem to remember that the initial demolition was attempted free of charge once.

          1. druck Silver badge

            Re: Kinda superb, but.....

            You might not like what MPs spend their expenses on, but at least it will be something real, rather than just shovelling money at quantum computers, just in case they ever work.

            1. Spamfast

              Re: Kinda superb, but.....

              what MPs spend their expenses on

              Generally a young intern and a pied-à-terre in which to discuss Ugandan Affairs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kinda superb, but.....

      The Met Office blown billions and still cannot tell us a reliable weather prediction, or a semi-estimated weather prediction.

      They're a damn site more accurate then Meteo France ! Sometimes I have to wonder if the French forecasters even have windows in their buildings.

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Kinda superb, but.....

        Yes. On their computers.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Kinda superb, but.....

          Yes. On their computers.

          :-) That would have France out front but not necessarily leading, Glen 1. That's most encouraging.

          They understand the theory but straggle and struggle with finessing of the key practicalities which deliver the reality to be supplied/recorded/main stream media hot line hosted and posted. 'Tis a simple block though and easily disappeared to remove such as be as wise testing hurdles.

      2. Spamfast
        Joke

        Re: Kinda superb, but.....

        Agree with AC about the Met Office being pretty good.

        But the BBC now source their forecasts elsewhere I believe, the Met Office having lost to a more competitive bid, and their web site & app seem to be more accurate than the Met Office's.

        What's with that?

        In any case, my grandma had a perfect record regarding meteorological prognostication. "It'll either rain or go dark before morning."

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Kinda superb, but.....

          BBC changed to Dutch MeteoGroup in 2017.

          What is really daft is MeteoGroup buy their weather data from Met Office.

          Statistically the Met Office provide the most accurate forecasting in the UK, but Meteo have jazzier graphics. All part of the general dumbing down.

          1. Spamfast

            Re: Kinda superb, but.....

            Ta for the info.

            Must be a timing thing with the web/app thing then.

            Or my subconscious bias.

            Right with you on the dumbing down. Glad we still get the shipping forecast on R4 in the morning - it gives a much better idea of what's in store.

  5. nautica
    Boffin

    Not falsifiable?!! Don't bother me with details.

    Quantum computing: the "Cold Fusion" of the 21st century.

    Only difference? "Cold Fusion" was too easy to prove to be a hoax. So easy, that the president of my science/engineering university stepped in and said, "Stop this nonsense [cold-fusion research] RIGHT NOW. And I mean NOW, before you irreparably damage this institution!". No one would even dare to issue an edict like that on a subject which contains those two magic words: "computer", and "quantum".

    THE MAJOR problem, and why billions and billions will be spent on chasing this unrealizable dream? It violates the most basic tenet of experimental and theoretical physics: IT IS NOT FALSIFIABLE.

    Quantum computing, whatever IT is (ask an 'expert' to define what, exactly, quantum computing is), will only be abandoned whenever we find another digital rainbow, with its pot of gold, to chase.

    How about "super-string" computers? ...Has all the makings of a concept guaranteed to bankrupt most smaller nations.

    1. streaky

      Re: Not falsifiable?!! Don't bother me with details.

      This is such a pile of nonsense I don't even know where to start with it.

  6. streaky

    Ugh.

    Bit ragey this thread. Let the yanks piss away cash on the hardware, they're not playing long game: applications of. We learned this with so many technologies over the years and that's what we're world leaders at. The sheer volume of effort we put into the jet engine and didn't play the long game and we got nothing for it other than a few industrial gas turbine makers and a car maker building jet engines - they're very nice jet engines but BA aint no Emirates.

    We should be aiming for the Emirates of QC - whatever that looks like - not the Pratt and Whitney.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh.

      Something to launder shedloads of oil money through, you mean?

      1. streaky

        Re: Ugh.

        Oil money doesn't need laundering given it's legal literally everywhere. The term you're looking for is "invest profits of in".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems a typical UK big science project

    Significant fraction of the headline budget going on a nice shiny building... Check. (30million out of 93 - actually lower than I expected!)

    Location one of the usual suspects... Check. (Four hubs mentioned were Birmingham, Glasgow, York and Oxford. So the best location is clearly Harwell.)

    Late to the party... Check. (Quantum computing was a research-grant buzzword 20 years ago when I was still playing that game.)

    This is going to be a tremendous success.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020