View all news

Bristol leading on quantum innovation

Press release issued: 1 March 2016

The University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QETLabs) has set out to change the way quantum technologies are designed, developed and manufactured and to create a world-leading centre to train entrepreneurially-minded quantum engineers. Today [Tuesday 1 March] the Universities & Science Minister Jo Johnson announced QETLabs has been successfully awarded funding of £9 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to make this happen.

One ambition is to establish a UK quantum device prototyping and development service to meet the needs of the UK’s growing quantum technology industry, known as QuPIC (Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuits) and supported by an EPSRC award of £4.6 million. This unique service will enable academics, small and medium-sized enterprises, and technology companies using QuPIC to speed up the development of novel quantum photonic devices by accessing training, design tools, manufacture, testing, packaging and prototyping services.

The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC), will train a new generation of postdoctoral quantum engineers. Building upon the University’s already successful EPSRC Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training, QTEC will partner with Cranfield University’s Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship to create a world-leading hub to train entrepreneurially-minded quantum engineers ready for a career in the emerging quantum technology industry. To achieve this QTEC was awarded £4.4 million by the EPSRC.

QTEC will provide a Quantum Enterprise Fellowship programme covering four key areas: quantum technology; systems engineering; enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation; and connectivity.  The centre will work in partnership with Cranfield University, whose internationally recognised MBA and Ventures Programme will provide the industrially relevant management, entrepreneurship, innovation, and design components of the centre.

Fellows at the centre will establish contacts through a network of partners, including the UK National Network of Quantum Technology Hubs, SETSquared Partnerships and Engine Shed, and other academic and industrial partners. Further opportunities will include working on joint projects and secondments, networking events, venture days, investor showcase events, seminars, coaching and mentoring.

Jo Johnson, Universities & Science Minister, said: “We are committed to securing the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation, and supporting the vital work of scientists in quantum technologies is key to this. This £9 million of funding for the University of Bristol will enable them to boost high-level skills in quantum technologies and support jobs and growth.”

Professor Mark Thompson, acting Director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics and Director of the EPSRC Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training, who is leading on both awards, added: “These are both globally unique programmes and enable the University to attract new talent to Bristol and extend our lead in the development and exploitation of quantum technologies. The awards are important in supporting the needs of the UK’s burgeoning quantum technology industry.”

Further information

The two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) awards are:

EPSRC Quantum Technology Capital Call: QuPIC (Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuits) of £4.6 million, three-year-award starting on 1 April 2016. 

The principal investigator is Mark Thompson and the co-investigators are: Martin Cryan, Jeremy O’Brien, David May.

EPSRC Training and Skills Hub in Quantum Engineering: The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre QTEC £4.4 million five-year-award starting on 1 April 2016. 

The principal investigator is Mark Thompson and the co-investigators are: Patrick Godfrey, Noah Linden, David May, Chris Erven, Peter Turner, Jeremy O’Brien and Shailendra Vyakarnam.

About the Centre for Quantum Photonics
The goal in the Centre for Quantum Photonics (CQP) is to explore fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, as and to develop future photonic quantum technologies by generating, manipulating and measuring single photons as well as the quantum systems that emit these photons.

The Centre spans the School of Physics and Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Faculties of Science and Engineering, and the Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

About the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QETLabs)
The mission of QETLabs is to take quantum science discoveries out of the labs and engineer them into technologies for the benefit of society.  It is a ~£50 million activity that covers theoretical quantum physics through experiment, engineering and skills and training toward concept demonstrators of quantum technologies.  CQP is the major research engine within QETLabs.

About the EPSRC
As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

Edit this page