The potential for business opportunities based on the next generation of quantum technologies was highlighted at an industrial engagement event at Adastral Park, BT’s global R&D headquarters, on October 15th.
Organised by the Quantum Communications Hub and BT, with support from the KTN and Innovation Martlesham, the ICT cluster at Adastral Park, the event was attended by over 100 businesses, regional economic development agencies, the New Anglia Growth Hub and stakeholders of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. The event included presentations by directors of all four quantum hubs (led by the universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and York), and Dr Rhys Lewis, Director of the new Quantum Metrology Institute at NPL. Industry perspectives were provided by Innovate UK’s Dr Richard Murray, and two of the programme’s major industrial partners: BT, by Dr Tim Whitley, Managing Director of Research & Innovation; and e2v, by Dr Ole Kock, Technical Authority. Presentations were followed by a lively networking session.
Dr Tim Whitley said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host so many leading experts in such an exciting field. Quantum technology is an important new frontier in research that has so much potential to change the way we work, and the UK has a chance to lead the world in developing and exploiting this technology. We’re delighted that BT and other Adastral Park companies have the opportunity to play a significant role in this cutting-edge work over the coming years.”
Earlier this month, BT, Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (TREL) and ADVA Optical Networking, key industry partners in the Quantum Communications Hub led by the University of York, announced results of a record-breaking experiment that demonstrated the sharing of high-throughput distribution of quantum-encrypted keys (QKD) with high bandwidth transmission of 200Gb/s over a 100km length of fibre. This broke the previous world record (held by TREL) of 40Gbit/s and lays the groundwork for a whole new field of secure fibre optic networks.
Professor Tim Spiller, Director of the Quantum Communications Hub, said: “The recent advances in Quantum Key Distribution demonstrated at Toshiba’s Cambridge Labs clearly show the potential for Quantum technologies to transform many areas of our daily lives. This was a new milestone for the protection of our networks and our data. Achievements like this across all industry sectors can create a thriving new market for quantum technologies and make the UK a global leader in this field.”