New report on UK quantum computing

Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst find record investment and grant funding in nascent UK quantum sector, and almost half of all quantum companies based around Cambridge, London and Oxford. 

Weird stuff happens at the tiny scale. Physical matter at subatomic level can behave like both particles and waves, in discrete packets or chunks called ‘quanta’. This might sound academic but such weird properties have the potential to be revolutionise computing.

Interior of a quantum computer, photo by IBM

The idea is to use quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, that can exist in multiple states at once to enable parallel processing, producing much, much faster and more precise results. This could transform a whole range of operations such as comms, cryptography, sensory applications and simulation. 

This quantum technology is in its early days but the new report, Decrypting the UK’s high-growth quantum technology companies gives a detailed analysis of the quantum computing sector in the UK.

The main focus of the 51 active, high-growth quantum tech companies in the UK is digital security and AI but they cover a broad range of areas. They’re mostly based in the south-east, with 47.1% of them in or near the university cities of Cambridge, London and Oxford.  

Between them, these companies employ more than 500 people. It’s currently a very male-dominated sector, with men making up 76% of those working in quantum businesses. 

In 2022, these companies secured a record £98m in combined equity investment through 21 individual deals, up from the total of £86.5m in 2020. There has also been a record level of grant funding, with awards totalling £24.8m in 2022 from 54 awards, up from £23.8m in 2020. 

The report provides details of the various funding resources, entrepreneurial networks and tax credits available to founders that support developments of quantum tech and business in the UK. Case studies and interviews with leading quantum tech companies offer detailed insight into the current quantum ecosystem. 

Funded by the UK government, the report has been prepared by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst. National network Barclays Eagle Labs provides business incubation, dedicated growth programmes, mentoring and co-working and office space for ambitious high-growth businesses. Beauhurst collates key information on high-growth businesses in its searchable database.

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