A groundbreaking new facility researching how to make computers more than a hundred million times faster than the ones we have today has been opened at Sci-Tech Daresbury.

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, officially cut the ribbon on PsiQuantum’s advanced quantum computer research and development site, which has received £9 million in Government funding.

It is the Silicon Valley start-up’s first quantum research facility anywhere outside the United States.

Quantum computers are potentially vastly more powerful than even the most sophisticated supercomputers and could perform calculations in minutes that would takes thousands of years if done by a regular computer. Although still largely experimental, the Holy Grail of those working in the industry is to construct one which is commercially viable and could be put into widespread use.

PsiQuantum’s work at Sci-Tech Daresbury will lead on the development of advanced cryogenic systems that are critical to developing a ‘fault tolerant’ quantum computer. Fault tolerant machines will be the first quantum computing systems capable of being commercially useful and tackling big problems, ranging from climate change to health.

Ms Donelan said: "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, bolstered by our National Quantum Strategy.

"We are determined to drive the adoption of quantum technologies throughout our economy, with £2.5 billion backing over the next 10 years, to unlock untold advances in healthcare, green technology, and beyond."

Proffessor Mark Thompson, PsiQuantum Co-Founder and Chief Technologist 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.

"We are also delighted to be working together with the Hartree Centre to develop fault-tolerant applications in anticipation of the arrival of utility-scale quantum computing."

During her visit the Secretary of State also launched the UK’s new strategy for engagement with CERN, the cross-national particle accelerator lab based in Geneva.

CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, is a centre of global scientific and technical excellence and is home to some of the largest and most complex experiments ever constructed.

The strategy recognises that although the UK plays a prominent role in many aspects of CERN, the government said there is potential to boost return on the UK’s investment in this world leading facility.