Quantum Week 2024 review

27 May 2024

Oliver Brown, leader of EPCC's Quantum Group, reviews Quantum Week, which this year was held in Edinburgh.

Quantum Week 2024 comprised three events: 

Quantum Week AIMday 

This was the second quantum computing AIMday hosted by the University of Edinburgh and sponsored by the Quantum Computing Application Cluster (QCA). The AIMday format invites industry representatives to pitch their problems to a room full of academics and invite discussion on ways those problems could be solved. Discussion last year was quite lively, and this year was no different!

Quite often the AIMday discussions act more as an opportunity for people to meet and to begin conversations rather than solve any problems on the day. That said, some funding is available through Impact Accelerator Account (IAA) schemes at each of the three QCA sites (Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Strathclyde), and AIMday participants are welcome to apply for support to get their ideas off the ground. Our IAA project on quantum machine learning for genomics with start-up Quantum Base Alpha has recently finished, and we hope results will be available soon! 

This was another successful quantum computing AIMday, with lots of interesting discussions both on the day and after. Many thanks to Hjalmar Eriksson from Edinburgh Innovations, and the QSL’s own Craig Skeldon for setting it all up! I look forward to next year’s iteration.

QCTiP 2024

We were delighted to welcome more than 280 attendees to Quantum Computing Theory in Practice 2024 (QCTiP), hosted at The University of Edinburgh by the Quantum Software Lab. 

As chair of the local organising committee I wish it had been a bit less popular. We had originally anticipated three-quarters as many attendees, and half as many talks, but how can I blame people for wanting to come to beautiful-and-unusually-sunny Edinburgh, especially with such an exciting and packed programme of talks on offer?

QCTiP really was a phenomenal success, and I couldn’t be more proud of the organising team. Extra special mention goes to Ramin Jafarzadegan, Operations Manager of the Quantum Software Lab, and the engine behind all of Quantum Week. I cannot emphasise enough that everything went as smoothly as it did only as a result of his incredible hard work!

For me personally the two highlights of the conference were, firstly, catching up with my own PhD supervisor, Michael Hartmann, as he presented his poster. Second, the wonderful conference dinner at Prestonfield House. Not only was there wonderful food and company, but the dinner also marked the close of QCTiP, and therefore the end of my responsibilities!

Quantum Software Lab Anniversary

The week ended with a bang, with an invitation-only day of celebration of the first year of the QSL. I am of course aware of some of the amazing work we’re doing, but it was great to see it all brought together and put into context through the day. 

It’s been fantastic working more closely with both colleagues in Informatics, and at the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) over the past year. Huge thanks go to PI of the QSL, Elham Kashefi, and of course Director of the NQCC, Michael Cuthbert, for bringing us all together. I’m sure we’ll have many exciting results to share over the coming year. 

Most exciting of all is the recent announcement of the new Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Informatics, led by the Quantum Software Lab. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to train the next generation of quantum computing experts. I hope they will be able to use their skills to push at the boundaries of current computational capability, and find new ways to unlock new science. That is after all, what it’s all for!


Dr Oliver Thomson Brown
A man with big glasses and short hair, pictured in a modern office building.