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€11M QColr project launches Ireland into the forefront of quantum computing research

The launch of a large-scale €11M Quantum Computing in Ireland (QCoIr) initiative has catapulted Ireland into the European forefront of quantum computing research. Bringing together huge multinationals including IBM and Mastercard with disruptive SMEs like Rockley and equal1.labs, the consortium of seven creates an innovative national quantum ecosystem.

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Emanuele Pelucchi and Georgios Fagas in the state-of-the-art cryogenic quantum optics laboratory at Tyndall National Institute. Photo: Clare Keogh

“Quantum computing is seen as the future of computer technology. It’s computing built on the principles of quantum physics, creating, storing, and accessing data at atomic and subatomic levels to create vastly powerful computers,” explained Dr. Emanuele Pelucchi, Head of Epitaxy & Physics of Nanostructures, Tyndall National Institute, UCC.  “Sources of multiple entangled photons uniquely allow for preparation of highly entangled quantum states. QCoIr will leverage the on-chip photonic qubit platform based on site-controlled III-V quantum dots. These unique dots were developed at Tyndall.”

The QCoIr consortium partners are equal1.labs, IBM, Rockley Photonics, Maynooth University, Tyndall National Institute, UCD, and Mastercard. These academic and industry partners will work together on a software platform integrating multiple quantum bit technologies being developed in Ireland.

The €11.1M project has received €7.3M in funding from the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040. DTIF is run by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with administrative support from Enterprise Ireland. The rest of the QCoIr project funding comes from the project’s industry partners.

This investment showcases the potential for the growing number of academic and industrial collaborations in Ireland. “Rockley is an SME and the leader in integrated photonics, while IBM is a global leader in quantum computing. Rockley Photonics established their Irish R&D Centre at Tyndall just two years ago and by establishing partnerships like this we are delivering on our ambition to become a globally leading research performing and technology delivering institute,” added Dr. Fagas.