CHARLOTTE – Tech giant Honeywell is upping its bet on the business future of quantum computing, combining its own three-year-old group with UK-based Cambridge Quantum Computing and pledging to invest as much as $300 million in the new venture.

The combined company will compete against other major quantum computing players such as IBM, Microsoft and Google.  Honeywell sees the quantum computing market as being worth $1 trillion. IBM is an investor in CQC.

Honeywell’s own trapped ion-based quantum computing hardware has achieved a quantum volume of 512, “the highest measured on a commercial quantum computer to date,” Honeywell noted.

The deal announced early Tuesday calls for Honeywell to be the majority owner. Honeywell Chair and CEO Darius Adamczyk will serve as chair of the combined firm. Ilyas Khan, CEO and founder of CQC, will run the combined company.Tony Uttley, who is president of Honeywell’s current quantum unit, will be the new company’s president.

Closing is expected later this year.

Honeywell, which is based in Charlotte, said it will invest between $270 million and $300 million in the new venture. Cambridge Quantum Computing is also recognized as a global player in the Quantum space.

“Since we first announced Honeywell’s quantum business in 2018, we have heard from many investors who have been eager to invest directly in our leading technologies at the forefront of this exciting and dynamic industry – now, they will be able to do so,” Adamczyk said in the announcement. “The new company will provide the best avenue for us to onboard new, diverse sources of capital at scale that will help drive rapid growth.”

In an interview, Adamczyk told Reuters about why he made the deal: “To really accelerate our path into developing full quantum capabilities for quantum solutions, solving customers’ problems, we felt this was the shortest, most compelling path,.”

Honeywell said the combined company “will offer the world’s highest performing quantum computer and a full suite of quantum software, including the first and most advanced quantum operating system. These technologies will support customer needs for improved computation in diverse areas including cyber security, drug discovery and delivery, material science, finance, and optimization across all major industrial markets. The company will also focus on the advancement of natural language processing to fully leverage the possibilities of quantum artificial intelligence.”

The combined firm will have more than 300 employees, including 100 with doctorates, according to Honeywell.

“Joining together into an exciting newly combined enterprise, HQS and CQC will become a global powerhouse that will develop and commercialize quantum solutions that address some of humanity’s greatest challenges, while driving the development of what will become a $1 trillion industry,” Khan said. “I am excited to lead a company that has the best people and technologies in the quantum computing industry and the best and boldest clients. Together we will lead the industry as it grows and matures, and create tangible, credible, provable and science-led advances.”