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British quantum computing experts leave for Silicon Valley

British quantum computing experts leave for Silicon Valley (FT)

  • A few weeks after the UK pledged GBP150m to help develop commercial quantum computing (QC) applications, a group of Britain’s best-known QC scientists moved to Silicon Valley to found PsiQ.
  • The 50 employee strong startup is aiming to produce a commercial quantum computer within the next five years, and was co-founded by Jeremy O’Brien, a physicist at the University of Bristol and Terry Rudolph, a professor at Imperial College London.
  • According to Philipp Gerbert, senior partner at BCG and a former physicist “this would be a major breakthrough if and when it becomes available.”

Analysis and Comments

  • Retaining expertise in quantum computing is crucial for a number of reasons beyond the market for designing and building quantum computers.
  • The prospect of a quantum processor with several million qubits being available on a 10- to 15-year timeframe makes the quantum cyber security threat increasingly real today.
  • “Sensitive” organisations whose value or function depends on protecting valuable long-lived data (i.e. governments and their agencies, defence, critical infrastructure, autos and aerospace OEMs), will be exposed to quantum computing’s forward threat of “harvest now, quantum decrypt later”.
  • Such organisations will soon need to migrate to quantum-safe cyber security, and that will create a cycle of spending for well-placed cyber/IT names, hence we think this is the best way to play the quantum computing theme in the near/mid-term.

What is Quantum Computing?

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