The UK’s first quantum computer to be commercially available to businesses will be located in Abingdon in Oxfordshire, Science Minister Amanda Solloway announced today.

The new machine will be developed alongside experts from Oxford, London, Bristol and Edinburgh, and forms part of the Minister’s ambition for the UK to become the world’s first “quantum-ready” economy.

Backed by £10m government and industry investment, the new machine is hoped to strengthen the UK’s offer to businesses wanting to explore the technology.

Quantum science involves harnessing the unique ways that light and matter behave at atomic or subatomic levels.

This science has already transformed people’s lives by developing the building blocks of modern computers, the mobile phone, and the MRI scanner.

The new quantum computer will be developed by leading tech company Rigetti Computing, which also developed a cloud-based platform allowing computer programmers to write quantum algorithms.

It will work alongside Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered and Bristol and London-based quantum software start-up Phasecraft, as well as the University of Edinburgh.

The funding for Rigetti UK is part of the government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research & Innovation.

Rigetti’s computer is reportedly the only known commercially available quantum computing platform that will be both physically based in the UK, and available on the cloud to commercial clients.

Dr Michael Cuthbert National Quantum Computing Centre Director said: “I am pleased with the progress made on the formal structures and governance of the centre. The next steps initiating centre recruitment and commissioning technology work packages are very welcome tangible steps as the centre moves from initialisation and conceptual design to facility construction and operational delivery.”

Minster Solloway also launched the UK’s the National Quantum Computer Centre, based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

It is hoped the Centre will bring together academia, businesses and the government to address key challenges to quantum computing, such as scaling-up this technology and making it commercially viable and explore how they can create economic value.