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Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), which unveiled the UK’s most advanced superconducting quantum computer in 2018, has launched the UK’s first Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) platform.

In a boost for the UK’s ambitions to be a global quantum superpower, as well as for businesses looking to explore the increasing commercial and technical benefits of quantum computing,  today’s announcement is the latest in a series of firsts for the company.

Having built and launched the UK’s first superconducting quantum computer in 2018, today’s announcement marks the first time OQC’s proprietary technology is available to the enterprise via its private cloud. This announcement supports the startup’s goal of pioneering the Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) market. 

Potential of quantum

Dr. Ilana Wisby, the CEO of OQC, said: “The launch of our QCaaS platform is not only a remarkable achievement in the history of Oxford Quantum Circuits, but is a significant milestone in unlocking the potential of quantum computing both in the UK and globally.

“We know quantum computing has the power to be revolutionary but for decades this power and potential have been relatively untested and unverified in the real world. By making our QCaaS platform more widely available to strategic partners and customers, we are offering the world’s leading enterprises the chance to demonstrate just how far-reaching quantum will be within their industries.”

OQC’s Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform takes its proprietary quantum technology to the market through a private cloud, where it will be used by strategic partners and customers to further experiment with quantum until ultimately they make breakthrough discoveries and tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems. 

OQC’s partner, Cambridge Quantum, will be the first to be given access to the private cloud to demonstrate its Ironbridge cybersecurity platform, which extracts perfect certified entropy from quantum computers to generate unhackable cryptographic keys.  To achieve this milestone — of national strategic importance — Cambridge Quantum will have access to one of OQC’s systems, “Sophia”, hosted at the company’s state-of-the-art lab in the UK. The facility, which was built last year amid the global pandemic, is the first commercial quantum computing laboratory in the country.

Following OQC’s convention of naming its systems after women in STEM, this system is named after Sophia Jex-Blake: a British physician who led the campaign to secure women’s access to a University education when she and six other women, collectively known as the ‘Edinburgh Seven’, began illegally studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1869. 

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