[For all news related to the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, please see the programme's RSS news feed]

The Face of Quantum Communications Technology

Nov 25th 2016

A new public engagement video, titled The Face of Quantum Communications Technology and produced with support from our funder, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is now available to view. The short film introduces some key concepts in the field of quantum communications and talks briefly about the work of the Hub.

To view the film, please visit the Quantum Communications Hub YouTube channel

First Annual Quantum Communications Hub Report is now published!

Oct 31st 2016

The first annual report of our Quantum Communications Hub, describing activities from the first year of the project, has now been published and it is available to download via QCommHub_Annual Report 2014 15

Funding opportunity for UK innovation positions within quantum technologies

Jul 29th 2016

When developing the UK National Strategy for Quantum Technologies, the Strategic Advisory Board identified increasing international engagement as one of five areas of focus in order to maximise the benefit of the programme to the UK.

The Strategy recognises the importance of the UK continuing to support international collaboration as a means to attract the best talent. To confirm the commitment of the National Programme in international engagement, EPSRC with the support of Innovate UK will shortly be inviting expressions of interest for Innovation Chairs to bolster the existing network of capability and expertise in the innovation space by recruiting internationally recognised academic and industrial researchers to UK academic positions.

Building on existing investments, the Innovation Chairs call will provide up to £10M for 4 – 5 awards for four years of support (up to 50% of time paid) to establish a critical mass of technology development and industrial engagement activities, helping to catalyse wider community activity.

The call document will be published on the EPSRC website at the end of August / beginning of September and the closing date for the expressions of interest will be in early October. More information will be posted in due course through this link:


PhD Studentships in Quantum Communications Technologies

Jun 14th 2016

The Quantum Communications Hub is offering a number of PhD studentships supported by EPSRC funding. There are currently four studentships on offer in the following areas:

The deadline for applications for the first position is the 19th of August, while applications are being accepted all year round for the remaining ones. UK and EU students are eligible. The funding includes tuition fees for 3 years plus stipend for UK students. Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award.

For more information and to apply, please follow the respective links.

QKD in Space: Satellite QKD Technologies Workshop, ECSAT, Harwell Campus, 6 June 2016

Jun 14th 2016

The Quantum Communications Hub held a specialist workshop in early June on satellite quantum key distribution at ECSAT - European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications - the European Space Agency's new UK facility at Harwell. The workshop was focused on the use of satellite communications for quantum key distribution - a combination of technologies that offers possibilities for quantum-secure communications over very large distances.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together the leading figures from the international academic community, industrial/commercial interests, and public stake-holders from both the EU and UK. Presenters included the pre-eminent satellite QKD specialists Paulo Villoresi (University of Padova), Rupert Ursin (Vienna Centre for Quantum Science & Technology), and Thomas Jennewein (University of Waterloo), as well as experts from Airbus, BT, the European Space Agency, ID Quantique, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. Participants included the UK's National Physical Laboratory, the Satellite Applications Catapult, and the EU's Joint Research Centre, as well as Hub university and industry partners.

The workshop is part of a Hub initiative to explore options for active UK participation in collaborative satellite QKD R&D that will contribute to demonstrations / pilots in which there is global scientific and commercial interest.

Minister announces major investment in doctoral training and Quantum Technologies research at York

Mar 1st 2016
[D. Garner, Head of Media Relations, University of York]


The University of York is to benefit from investment in science and engineering research totaling £204 million announced by Science minister Jo Johnson today.

It is one of 40 UK universities which will share in £167 million support for doctoral training over a two year period, and £37 million for UK Quantum Technologies research which includes the York-led Quantum Communications Hub. The funds for doctoral training will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which has changed how funding is allocated through its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). Read more here...

Interview: Professor David Delpy, UK head of quantum technology strategy

Feb 8th 2016

By Stuart Nathan. [Re-posted from the Engineer (]

How to fund science and engineering research is a perennially tricky question: although most people in the sector probably have ideas on how much taxpayers’ money is allocated to research and how it’s shared out, the overwhelming feeling is probably one of relief that they don’t have to make the actual decision. With The Engineer’s remit to spotlight disruptive technology, readers might expect us to advocate spending where there’s the potential to be truly life changing. But one prominent UK figure who’s spent decades in the thick of the politics of research funding thinks this is precisely the wrong approach.

Prof David Delpy is a physicist by training, but said that he’s “really more of an instrumentation engineer”. Unsure on leaving school whether he wanted to be a scientist or an engineer, he studied applied physics on a sandwich course at Brunel “because I thought it would allow me to go in either direction once I graduated; and I still think sandwich courses are the best thing out there if you like actually doing stuff rather than just sitting in lectures, even though there are far fewer of them now”. After a brief period in industry working for a conglomerate of around 16 small engineering companies, Delpy realised he missed both London and physics, and returned to UCL on a studentship to develop miniaturised catheters to measure blood pressure in premature babies. “I got hooked on medical instrumentation and stayed for 35 years.” Read more here...

Researchers confirm ‘realistic’ answer to quantum network puzzle

Nov 19th 2015

[D. Garner, Head of Media Relations, University of York]

Scientists at the University of York’s Centre for Quantum Technologies have discovered new evidence to support the development of scalable and secure high rate quantum networks.

Credit: Carlo Ottaviani
Credit: Dr Carlo Ottaviani


Earlier research with colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Toronto, saw the development of a protocol that used continuous-variable quantum systems to achieve key-rates at metropolitan distances at three orders-of-magnitude higher than previously.

In a new study published in Nature Photonics, the researchers, led by Dr Stefano Pirandola, of the Department of Computer Science at York, say that a potential alternative using cryogenic devices and standard Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is unlikely to approach the high rates achieved both theoretically and experimentally using a continuous variable quantum system. Read more here...