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IBM has secured a five-year, £210 million ($300m) deal to create an AI and quantum computing center in North West England.
Based in Daresbury, a short drive from Liverpool, the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) will see researchers using AI and quantum computing to aid materials development, life sciences, environmental sustainability, and manufacturing.
The facility will provide public sector organizations with accessible training to help them embrace emerging technologies. It expects to offer positions to 60 scientists, interns, and students.
“Thanks to this fantastic new partnership with IBM, British businesses will have access to the kind of infrastructure and expertise that will help them boost innovation and grow the economy,” UK science minister Amanda Solloway said.
As part of the partnership, the UK government will invest around £172 million ($245m) over five years. IBM will provide the remaining £38 million ($53m).
The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre will house the HNCDI — and will also join the IBM Quantum Network, gaining access to the company’s quantum machines.
"HNCDI will enable the UK to develop the skills, knowledge, and technical capability required to adopt emerging digital technologies, seeding the UK with new ideas and innovative solutions," Professor Mark Thomson, executive chair of STFC Hartree Centre, said.
IBM and the STFC Hartree Centre have been collaborating since 2013. The ‘Big Blue’ recently took the number two spot on AI Business’s top five biggest names in quantum computing list.