Horizon Quantum Computing to open European office in Ireland

Move is the company’s first outside of Singapore base

Singapore-based Horizon Quantum Computing is to open its European office in Ireland, as it seeks to establish an engineering hub here.

This will be the company’s first office outside Singapore. It initially plans to hire 10 people in the next six months, including multiple high-priority software engineering positions and project managers, with the possibility of further expansion over time. Recruitment is already under way.

Led by Irish quantum physicist Dr Joe Fitzsimons, Horizon Quantum Computing builds software development tools to unlock the potential of quantum computing hardware.

Quantum computing uses the theories of quantum mechanics to solve complex problems that might stump classical computers. However, it requires special hardware, which can be difficult to build.


The company, founded in 2018, is developing new programming tools to simplify and speed up the development of software for quantum computers, eliminating the need for prior quantum computing experience.

“What we’re trying to do is to solve what we see as one of the two main obstacles to quantum computing becoming a useful technology. So the first is that you need the quantum computers and it turns out, they’re hard to build,” said Mr Fitzsimons.

“But the other problem you have is even if we had these systems today, you still need to be able to program them. There’s very few people who have the expertise to construct a new application from scratch that uses quantum computing. This is just going to be a bottleneck in terms of trying to get real work done.

“So what we’re trying to do is to make it easier to program the devices essentially by abstracting away the details of quantum computing, getting to a point where you’re not talking about what quantum operations you want to do on which bits of data but rather you’re just talking about how you want to manipulate your data in general.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to get to the point where it is just conventional source code, you could run on a regular computer, but that can be automatically accelerated and run on a quantum computer.”

The company employs 13 people full-time, but aims to increase that to closer to 40 people. It has committed to creating 10 jobs here.

“How we develop beyond that will depend both on the company’s trajectory and also in terms of the overall landscape for quantum computing, to what extent progress is made in the field on the hardware as well as on the software that we work on directly,” Mr Fitzsimons said.

The company is also seeking to forge a number of partnerships with local universities to provide internship opportunities.

Despite the chief executive’s links to Ireland, it wasn’t the only choice for the new office.

“We didn’t default to Ireland,” said Mr Fitzsimons. “We looked at about eight different locations and I looked across the depth of technical talent available and other factors such as proximity to other quantum computing centres. Obviously Ireland’s in a pretty good position; it’s the only English speaking country in the EU now, and that’s useful. And then you have both the UK and EU talent pools as well as the local one in Ireland.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist