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If January turns out to be a template for the rest of 2021, the product development team at Oxford Instruments NanoScience is set for a busy year after registering the first industry and academic installations of Proteox, a next-generation dilution refrigerator designed for applications in quantum computing R&D and ultra-low-temperature condensed-matter physics. The customers: Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), a University of Oxford start-up that’s pioneering a “quantum computing as a service” (QCaaS) business model, and the University of Glasgow’s quantum circuits group, a multidisciplinary research team working at the frontiers of quantum science, technology and application.

In terms of the back-story, Oxford Instruments NanoScience is a division of parent group Oxford Instruments, a diversified and long-established UK provider of specialist technologies and services to research and industry. The NanoScience business unit, for its part, designs and manufactures research tools to support the development, scale-up and commercialization of next-generation quantum technologies. Think cryogenic systems (operating at temperatures as low as 5 mK) and high-performance magnets that enable researchers to harness the exotic properties of quantum mechanics – entanglement, tunnelling, superposition and the like – to yield practical applications in quantum computing, quantum communications, quantum metrology and quantum imaging.

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