Bringing quantum technologies into the real world

Knowledge transfer network Quantum Showcase 2021

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:

  • connectivity
  • seeing the invisible
  • positioning, navigation and timing
  • computing.

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.

Further information

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

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