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Quantum Communications Hub demonstrates technology advances at 2017 National Quantum Technologies Showcase

Nov 30th 2017
Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), visiting one of the Hub stands at the 2017 Quantum Showcase                                                                                                     

The 2017 National Quantum Technologies Showcase took place on 22 November at the QEII Conference Centre in central London. The third such meeting of its kind, the showcase is the flagship user engagement event of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, aimed at highlighting the commercial potential of the emerging technologies for the UK and global economy to representatives of government and industry. This year’s event attracted over 600 delegates and included nearly 60 technology demonstrators, covering multiple sectors of the economy: transport, healthcare, defence and security, components and heavy industry, finance, space and communications and future networks.

The Quantum Communications Hub contributed to the organisation of the event, led this year by the EPSRC, and took part with a number of technology demonstrators led by experimental colleagues at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and York, as well as industrial partners Toshiba Research Europe Ltd, BT and ADVA. Our exhibits ranged across the sectors: (i) integrated photonics in the form of chip-based quantum key distribution (QKD), offering distinct commercial advantages in terms of enhanced functionality and cost-effective manufacturing; (ii) quantum keys used as a network resource, demonstrating the adaptive functionalities and agile network capabilities resulting from combining QKD security with existing software defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) principles; (iii) low-cost, short-range QKD for use on handheld devices, enabling cryptographic interaction with ATM-like terminals; (iv) an optical fibre-based transmitter and receiver system for exchanging classical and quantum signals using single laser pulse, for monitoring eavesdropping and generating secure keys for cryptographic purposes; (v) a demonstration of securing data centre links with quantum cryptography over optical fibre networks; (vi) an exhibit highlighting work on the UKQNTel project, the extension arm of the UK’s Quantum Network linking major R&D and business clusters in Cambridge with and Adastral Park via optical fibre.

To find out more about the specific activities of the Hub as well as the wider national investment in quantum technologies, please visit the project website at www.quantumcommshub.net/

 

Low-cost, short-range handheld Quantum Key Distribution prototypes were exhibited at the showcase
Demonstration showing part of the UK's first Quantum Network around Cambridge

 

 

 

Quantum Secured Encryption Demonstration at the University of York

Oct 23rd 2017

 

ID Quantique’s Cerberis Quantum Key Distribution platform for secure encryption key exchange, as used in the Hub demo hosted at York

 

The University of York, lead partner in the Quantum Communications Hub partnership, is taking part in an EPSRC-commissioned public dialogue on quantum technologies, facilitated by Kantar Public, an independent social research agency. The dialogue consists of two full-day workshops with an interim activity and is rolled out across all lead institutions of the National Network Quantum Technology Hubs – the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and York. The main purpose of the exercise is to introduce members of the public to the emerging technologies, explain the full range of applications, relevance to everyday life and disruptive market potential, while at the same time dispel misconceptions and record the public’s hopes, expectations, fears and concerns.

Professor Tim Spiller (Department of Physics, York) and Dr Almut Beige (School of Physics and Astronomy University of Leeds) are taking part in the workshops, while Hub partner BT were invited to present a technical demonstration and public talk on how quantum encryption can help counter the threat of quantum computing. The event was hosted on Friday 20 October at the 360 interactive space in the Ron Cooke Hub, and was preceded by a special, invitation-only, preview for members of the Faculty of Science in the University. Professor Andrew Lord, BT’s Head of Optical Research, demonstrated the capability of existing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology to cancel all attempts by a hacker (“Eve”) at intercepting quantum secured transmissions of video files between two communicating parties (“Alice” and “Bob”).

The Quantum Communications Hub research team, led by Director Spiller, are working with major industrial partners such as BT, ID Quantique and Toshiba, to advance existing QKD technologies to commercial-ready status, overcome their current limitations and in so doing, open up new markets enabling widespread adoption and use.

The results of the public dialogue will be made available in a report authored by Kantar Public, in early 2018.

Hub presentation at the UK-NL Cyber Security Showcase

Sep 29th 2017
Hub Director, Professor Tim Spiller, presenting at the UK-NL Cyber Showcase in The Hague

 

Following an invitation from the UK Foreign Office, Professor Tim Spiller gave a presentation on the work of the Quantum Communications Hub and implications for cybersecurity at the UK-NL Cyber Security Showcase on 27 September 2017 at the World Trade Centre in The Hague. The event was part of a larger programme of activities, Cyber Security Week 2017, and was jointly organised by the Netherlands Department for International Trade and the British Embassy.

QCrypt17

Sep 27th 2017

The Quantum Communications Hub team submitted a successful bid earlier in the year to undertake the delivery of the 7th International Conference on Quantum Cryptography (QCrypt). The event took place in September 18th – 22nd at the University of Cambridge, with Hub team members from the Universities of York and Cambridge comprising the organising committee. QCrypt is the main forum of the quantum cryptography research community worldwide and this year’s meeting was attended by over 330 delegates. Parallel sessions focused on every aspect of quantum cryptography, from theoretical developments to experimental manifestations: quantum teleportation across metropolitan fibre networking; experimental quantum money; post-quantum cryptography; core and access QKD networks; network coding; quantum authentication and encryption with key recycling; device-independent randomness amplification and privatization; and many more. Particular highlights were the presentations of the team from the University of Science and Technology of China on satellite quantum communications and the Micius mission. Video recordings of all talks (including many from the Quantum Communications Hub team!) will be made available soon through the QCrypt 2017 website (http://2017.qcrypt.net/)

Next year’s QCrypt will take place in August 27-31, in Shanghai, hosted by the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).

ETSI/IQC Quantum Safe Workshop, London, 13-15 September 2017

Sep 17th 2017

 

 

 

 

 

The 5th ETSI/IQC international workshop on quantum safe cryptography took place last month at the Westminster Conference Centre, London. The event was jointly co-organised by ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, and the IQC, the University of Waterloo’s Institute of Quantum Computing, with further support provided by the Quantum Communications Hub which acted as host. The National Cyber Security Centre and CryptoWorks21 training partnership were also supporting partners.

The workshop was free of charge and structured along an executive (13/09) and technical (14-15/09) track. The main focus on the first day was on the disruptive potential of quantum computing and the technologies available to counteract subsequent threats to the existing cyber-security infrastructure. Discussions during the following two days centred on the current state of quantum-safe cryptography, the challenges of cryptographic standardisation on a global scale, the selection criteria for new encryption algorithms and specific government and industry requirements.

Keynote addresses were given by Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Executive Designate of UKRI, who talked on Technological Opportunities in the Quantum Age; Luke Beeson, BT’s Vice-President on Security in UK and Continental Europe, who presented on Practice Application of Quantum Key Distribution and Wider Security Implications; and Sir Peter Knight, member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme and the Quantum Metrology Institute (“Preventing Crypto-Apocalypse: Securing our Data against the Quantum Computer Threat”). Professor Tim Spiller, Director of the Quantum Communications Hub, gave an invited talk on the UK perspective and technologies developed in the Hub for quantum-secured encryption.

The event was oversubscribed and generated a lot of media interest, with the Wall Street Journal providing extensive coverage. All presentations from both executive and technical tracks can be downloaded from the event website: http://www.etsi.org/news-events/events/1173-etsi-iqc-quantum-safe-workshop-2017

Paper of the week!

Sep 15th 2017

Congratulations to PhD student Ryan Parker, whose first peer reviewed paper – “Hybrid photonic loss resilient entanglement swapping” – was chosen upon publication as Journal of Optics’ paper of the week! The paper (Journal of Optics 2017, vol. 19, no. 10) was co-authored with colleagues Jaewoo Joo, Mohsen Razavi and Ryan’s supervisor, Tim Spiller, and can be accessed through this link - doi:10.1088/2040-8986/aa858a

Year 2 Hub Annual Report is now out!

Sep 5th 2017

The second year annual progress report for our Quantum Communications Hub has just been published! It includes content on progress across all technology themes, as well as news items on user and public engagement activities, outreach, research highlights and a list of outputs for 2016. You can access the report by downloading it here.

New research post in Quantum Communications

Jun 22nd 2017

We are looking for an experienced and ambitious researcher with a background in quantum communications to join our team in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities, working on the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Communications.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) provides unbreakable, future-proof security against the vulnerabilities of most cryptosystems currently in operation. QKD has been implemented mostly over dedicated channels and between two parties. Before current communication vulnerabilities are exploited, it is essential to facilitate the use of QKD technology for any two users at any distance, via a network. This project addresses the theoretical analysis of quantum communications networks, including the UK Quantum Network, at access and metro levels. Another key aspect is the theoretical development of future generations of quantum networks via quantum repeaters.

Holding a PhD (or an expectation that a PhD will be awarded soon) in Physics, Engineering, or a related discipline, you will have a track record in quantum communications research which has led to publications in international refereed journals. You will also need to have experience in the use of numerical/symbolic maths software such as MATLAB, Maple, or Mathematica.

You will work closely with Dr M Razavi, at the intersection of quantum information science and optical communications. You will also collaborate with partner researchers in the National Hub for Quantum Communications Technologies.

You can download a copy of the candidate brief here. The deadline for applications is 12 July 2017.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: Dr Mohsen Razavi, Associate Professor (m.razavi@leeds.ac.uk)