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California’s PsiQuantum opens Daresbury R&D site

PsiQuantum Daresbury Laboratory
Image credit: PsiQuantum / Daresbury Laboratory

US company PsiQuantum has opened its first international research and development site at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.

PsiQuantum, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, is aiming to build the first “large-scale” quantum computer.

The Silicon Valley company will work with the lab, located in the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus, to create fault-tolerant applications for utility-scale quantum computing.

Professor Mark Thompson, chief technologist and co-founder of PsiQuantum, said: “The existing cryogenic infrastructure and scientific talent available to us at Daresbury Laboratory was a key reason behind our decision to choose the UK as our first global expansion site.”

Access to cryogenic cooling is important for PsiQuantum, as its single-photon detectors run at a temperature of −273.15°C.

The quantum company has previously received £9m from the UK government.

“We are completely committed to working with PsiQuantum in its mission to build the world’s first large-scale quantum computer,” said Paul Vernon, head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a science and innovation campus near the village of Daresbury, which is roughly 20 miles east of Liverpool. Established in 2006, more than 150 startups, scaleups and global giants call Sci-Tech Daresbury home

The PsiDaresbury location was officially opened by Michelle Donelan, the science, tech and innovation secretary.

“PsiQuantum choosing to take the next crucial steps in the development of their technology here in the UK is a resounding vote of confidence in the UK’s quantum capabilities,” she said.

In February, construction work began for a £30m supercomputer centre at Daresbury Laboratory.

Read more: Liverpool regional tech report