UCD launches Quantum Centre to help tackle humanity's greatest challenges

July 19, 2021 

The promise of quantum computing seems limitless - better weather forecasts, superfast financial market analysis, more effective cancer drugs and energy-saving solutions to the climate crisis. 

Little wonder the value of the industry globally is predicted to reach over a trillion dollars in the coming 15 years. 

 To capitalise on this - and to help maintain Ireland’s current standing as a hub for big tech - the country’s largest university is launching C-QuEST, a new research centre for quantum engineering, science and technology. 

University College Dublin is already at the forefront of Ireland’s quantum revolution with spin-out companies such as Equal1.labs - a start-up with multimillion dollar funding whose mission is to build affordable quantum computers for everyone. Quantum computers would leverage the principles of quantum physics to solve currently unsolvable problems.

“Quantum computing will enable us to solve problems that are too complex for classical computers to deal with” says Dr Andrew Mitchell of UCD School of Physics and director of C-QuEST. “This will revolutionise a huge spectrum of industries from medicine and agriculture to finance and cybersecurity.” 

C-QuEST aims to accelerate development of quantum research in Ireland and to collaborate with industry partners to address the world’s major societal challenges such as food security, energy and climate change using new quantum tech.  

Above: Silicon Republic article about the launch

“There has been an explosion in quantum science and technology research in Ireland and worldwide in recent years, with a staggering €1 billion in research funding being invested through the new EU Quantum Flagship. And aside from research, we are hearing more and more from quantum tech employers that they need a ‘quantum-literate’ workforce.”

C-QuEST, which has 24 academic staff from across the UCD Schools of Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, and Maths & Statistics, is uniquely placed to meet this need. The centre has already undertaken joint research projects with industry, from Silicon Valley startups to the global tech giants. 

“The big tech companies are in an R&D race, with IBM, Intel, Google, and Microsoft all investing heavily in the quantum sector. UCD researchers have netted millions of euros in quantum research funding in recent years, a sign that quantum tech is becoming a national priority area. We are excited to launch C-QuEST now to help position Ireland at the forefront of the quantum tech revolution.”


C-QuEST will launch online on Thursday, July 29th at 11AM. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact quantum@ucd.ie.