Glasgow hub lands £28m to turbocharge quantum research

A University of Glasgow-led research centre has won £28 million to further its development of quantum-enhanced imaging systems.

QuantIC has been awarded five years of funding to continue its revolutionary work. Picture: Contributed

QuantIC has secured the sum from the UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund its operations for the next five years. The investment will allow the Glasgow-based hub to continue its research, build on existing relationships with industry players and develop new partnerships.

Its research goals include creating “revolutionary” imaging systems that shift the way imaging occurs, such as the capability to see directly inside the human body or through fog and smoke.

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The centre cited several notable successes to date, such as the development of QuantiCAM, a digital camera which captures photons 10,000 times faster than a conventional device. It has also incubated three spin-out companies: QLM, which uses a drone mounted quantum sensing system to remotely detect minute methane leaks; Raycal, a quantum technologies consultancy; and security screening firm Sequestim.

QuantICs single pixel camera. Picture: Contributed

QuantIC brings together the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde, Bristol, Exeter, Imperial College, and Southampton with industrial partners across the UK.

The funding for the second phase of QuantIC’s operations is part of £94m announced by science minister Chris Skidmore in support of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Steve Beaumont, director of QuantIC, said: “We’re pleased to have the support of EPSRC for our second phase of work at QuantIC.

“We’ve had an enormously successful first five years, making significant technological breakthroughs and forging 39 project partnerships with industry across the UK.

“We’ve also worked hard to encourage the next generation of pioneering quantum engineers, investing more than half a million pounds in 12 industry-led studentships.”

Miles Padgett, QuantIC’s principal investigator, added: “When QuantIC started up in 2014, we had 30 industry partners. Today, we actively engage with more than 70 companies, an expansion of our user network which we’re immensely proud of.

“It shows that there is huge commercial potential for the kind of quantum-enhanced technologies we’re working on. We’re delighted that we’ve received the funding we need to continue helping the UK keep its place on the world stage in cutting-edge research and development.”