From tackling climate change to improving digital security, the UK is revolutionising multiple industries by harnessing the power of quantum technologies.
The commercialising quantum technologies challenge at UK Research and Innovation has today (15 June 2022) announced £6 million in funding split between 16 UK based projects.
These projects will advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK and address one or more of the technical challenges below:
- seeing the invisible
- positioning, navigation and timing
Building on the success of previous funding rounds these 16 projects have identified clear market opportunities for quantum technologies in the UK and have outlined an innovative project to help exploit it.
These projects are connecting companies from across the UK and will help to build and sustain the exciting quantum network developing in the UK as products move to market.
Real world benefits
One project sees previous funding winner, Bristol based start-up QLM, partnering with another start-up Phlux and University of Sheffield to improve QLM’s methane detection cameras.
With methane being 84 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, detecting leaks more efficiently could help dramatically cut environmentally damaging methane leaks from the oil and gas industry.
Another project led by Phasecraft Limited builds on the results of a previous Innovate UK funded feasibility study.
Joined by Rigetti UK and BT this new study aims to develop efficient algorithms and use cases for industrial optimisation.
Specifically focused on BT’s fixed and mobile networks, the project addresses optimisation to improve efficiency, capacity and the competitiveness of BT’s services.
Showcasing UK quantum technology
Commercialising quantum technologies challenge director, Roger McKinlay said:
From managing greenhouse gas emissions, pioneering new forms of digital security and developing new navigation systems, the UK is at the forefront of the emerging quantum industry.
These 16 projects really showcase the strength and depth of UK quantum technology, our leading companies and their commercial potential.
I look forward to seeing how these projects progress over the next 18 months.
Full list of funded projects
Q-Pods: Holistically packaged integrated optoelectronic devices for quantum systems
Reducing the size, weight, power and cost of QPods (a dedicated mechanically and thermally stable optoelectronics module to drive magneto-optical traps used in several UK Quantum projects).
This is done by holistically integrating all the essential components into a single ruggedised package.
Project lead: Bay Photonics Ltd
Collaborators: National Physics Laboratory (NPL)
TALENT: Tapered AmpLifiErs for quaNtum Technologies
Aiming to develop innovative robust, reliable and low-size, weight and power consumption (SwaP) lasers to enable the deployment of quantum technologies in harsh and dynamic environments.
Project lead: Alter Technology TUV Nord UK Limited
Collaborators: Fraunhofer CAP, ColdQuanta
AIR SPAD: AlGaAsSb Infrared Single Photon Avalanche Diodes
Aiming to address the shortcomings of current methane detection technology, by developing high-performance single photon detectors, with four times higher detection efficiency for quantum gas sensing cameras.
Project lead: Phlux Technology Ltd
Collaborators: University of Sheffield, QLM
High performance quantum light source
A wide range of emerging quantum technologies including communication, photonic computing, microscopy and sensing all require a high-quality source of quantum light in order to succeed.
This project aims to develop a complete field-ready, turn-key solution that can easily be incorporated into a commercial setting.
Project lead: AEGIQ Ltd
Collaborators: Fraunhofer CAP
Using commercial engineering techniques to bring quantum sensors into everyday use by those without highly specialised training.
Project lead: Delta G Limited
Collaborators: STL Tech, University of Birmingham
Advancing the practical implementation of quantum error correction with fault-tolerant syndrome extraction
This project aims to taking functional quantum sensing prototypes from the laboratory to field instruments and provide the expertise to take the sensor closer to market readiness.
Project lead: Riverlane Ltd
Collaborators: Rigetti UK
Singly-doped colloidal quantum dots for quantum technology
This project aims to combine quantum software and hardware to take a first big step in implementing error correction in quantum computers.
Project lead: Nanoco Technologies Limited
Collaborators: University of Manchester
Near-term quantum computing for solving hard industrial optimisation problems
The project will build on the results of a previous Innovate UK funded feasibility study. The previous project explored the potential for fault-tolerant quantum computers to solve optimisation problems relevant to telecom networks in the long term.
Project lead: Phasecraft Limited
Collaborators: Rigetti UK, BT
Next-generation Satellite Telecommunications Entangled Photon Source (NextSTEPS)
NextSTEPS will look to build a benchtop demonstrator of an entangled photon source.
The work will also consider the requirements of the unit for use in space, and in particular for low-size, weight and power (SWaP) satellite platforms such as nanosatellites.
Project lead: Craft Prospect Ltd
Collaborators: Fraunhofer CAP, Alter Technology
The QGyro project will develop a navigation-grade based on an atomic spin gyroscope and evaluate the miniaturisation potential of the technology.
Project lead: Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited
Collaborators: Inex Microtechnology, NPL
RALFS: Rydberg Atom Low Frequency Sensing
This project will demonstrate the feasibility of using ultracold atoms in Rydberg states to detect radio-frequency radiation in the very high-frequency and ultra-high frequency bands.
Rydberg states are highly excited electronic states of an atom where one outer electron is promoted into a very large orbit around its parent nucleus.
This will pave the way to field-deployable devices which significantly reduce the space, spectral, and polarisation constraints of conventional detection systems.
Project lead: ColdQuanta UK Limited
Collaborators: Leonardo, University of Durham
Medusa: the networking heart of a trapped ion multi-core quantum computer
Medusa aims to develop and commercialise integrated quantum photonic technology aimed at enabling entanglement-based networking of multicore quantum computing clusters.
Project lead: Nu Quantum Ltd
Collaborators: Cisco, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford
A PAckageD source of Multiplexed Entangled photons (PADME)
Aiming to deliver a high-performance, compact, and reliable source of entangled photon pairs that will service a global market and bolster the UK’s position as a world-leader in quantum and photonic innovation.
Project lead: Bay Photonics Ltd
Collaborators: University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow
Realistic machine learning based ultra-fast simulator for semiconductor spin qubit devices
To develop software able to control quantum devices in real time, we require machine learning based ultrafast simulators (MLUS).
The development of a qubit control software for quantum computing requires access to quantum device hardware to test and improve the performance.
This project will be a vital step in realising automated qubit tuning, optimisation and stabilisation.
Project lead: Quantrolox Limited
Collaborators: National Quantum Computing Centre, University of Oxford
Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuit Packaging (QPICPAC)
Aiming to develop a template, design guide and packaging process to allow for rapid and cost-effective packaging of quantum photonic integrated circuits (QPICs).
Project lead: Wave Photonics Ltd
Collaborators: University of Bristol, University of Southampton, Alter Technology, Senko Advanced Components
Ultracold quantum memories
To leverage ColdQuanta’s ultracold-atom technology to build a photonic quantum memory using laser-cooled atoms, showcasing state of the art memory lifetime in a commercially scalable platform.
Project lead: ColdQuanta UK Limited
Collaborators: Cisco, ORCA Computing
Top image: Adam Gasson, UKRI