Microsoft to develop world’s first quantum computer in Copenhagen

Microsoft has signed a long-term collaboration agreement with the University of Copenhagen to develop the world’s first general-purpose, scalable quantum computer, providing incredible opportunities for science and technology.

Computers based on quantum technology have the potential to solve and execute complex mathematical calculations much faster than any existing computer built with ordinary bits. Bits that are based on quantum particles, known as qubits, will generate unprecedented performance.

This will translate into the ability to create significant opportunities and tackle pressing issues such as global warming, better material and drug design, and IT security and encryption.

Basic research is business in Greater Copenhagen

Signing a new collaboration agreement with the University of Copenhagen on 6 September, Microsoft is now intensifying its investment in Danish quantum research at the Niels Bohr Institute.

Microsoft employees will be working closely with the Institute’s researchers to develop and build the world’s first general-purpose, scalable quantum computer at the Centre for Quantum Devices (Qdev) under the supervision of renowned Professor Charles Marcus, Microsoft’s Scientific Director of Station Q Copenhagen.

“The partnership between Microsoft and the University of Copenhagen is a perfect example of how business can benefit from the world-class research taking place in Greater Copenhagen in areas such as pharmaceuticals, foods, social big data, sound and acoustics, quantum physics and bioenergy. If your company is looking for commercial R&D business, we can help you get in contact with Greater Copenhagen’s leading research environments,” Claus Lønborg, CEO at Copenhagen Capacity, says.

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One of the world's leading quantum research environments

For Thomas Bjørnholm, Pro-rector for Research and Innovation at the University of Copenhagen, the agreement with Microsoft is the culmination of a sustained and extremely focused research partnership within quantum technology.

“When a company like Microsoft decides to invest heavily into a research development centre at the University of Copenhagen, it’s because we have had a significant focus on building up one of the world's leading quantum research environments,” he says.

Microsoft has also established partnerships with universities and Station Q Copenhagen is one of only four prestigious experimental Station Q sites in the world, alongside Purdue University (USA), Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), and the University of Sydney (Australia).

Facts about the partnership

  • Microsoft is establishing state-of-the-art Microsoft research and development laboratories at the University of Copenhagen’s North Campus close to the Niels Bohr Institute.
  • Currently, around 12 Microsoft employees ranging from engineers to developers are working at the University of Copenhagen. During the new long-term agreement, the size of this team will grow.
  • In addition to the multi-million dollar investment in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, Microsoft is also committing to significant quantum research funding at the University of Copenhagen.

Source: The University of Copenhagen