QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, will receive £28m from the UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

QuantIC wins £28m funding boost in ‘Next Leap Forward’

A ground-breaking research hub involving the University of Exeter, which is focused on the development of quantum-enhanced imaging systems, will be funded for five more years, it has been announced.

QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, will receive £28m from the UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), it was confirmed today (Thursday 11 July).

The funding will allow the hub to continue its research, build on existing relationships with industry, and develop new partnerships.

QuantIC, which involves Dr Jacopo Bertolotti from Exeter’s Physics department, also brings together the Universities of Glasgow, Bristol, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College, Strathclyde and Southampton with industrial partners from across the UK.

Dr Bertolotti said: “I am very happy that the potential of quantum-enhanced imaging technologies has been recognized, and I am delighted to be part of this excellent consortium of scientists devoted to their development."

The funding for the second phase of QuantIC’s operations is part of £94mannounced today by Science Minister Chris Skidmore in support of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Since it was established in 2014 as one of four quantum hubs supported by £270m in funding from the UK Government, QuantIC has pioneered new ways to make ‘the invisible visible’ using quantum technologies.

Across the consortium, the hub’s major research successes to date include the development of QuantiCAM, a digital camera which captures photons 10,000 times faster than conventional cameras, and cameras capable of novel imaging feats including looking around corners and seeing clearly through smoke.

A portable gravity imager capable of measuring ‘earth tides’ subtle changes in the earth around us has also attracted significant industrial interest for use in space, civil engineering and environmental monitoring.

Over the next five years, QuantIC will continue to develop revolutionary imaging systems that shift the way imaging occurs, such as the ability to see directly inside the human body, the ability to see through fog and smoke, to make microscopes with higher resolution and lower noise than classical physics allows, and quantum radars that cannot be jammed or confused by other radars around them.

These developments will be enabled by new technologies, such as single-photon cameras, detectors based on new materials and single-photon sensitivity in the mid-infrared spectral regions. Combined with new computational methods, QuantIC will enable UK industry to lead the global imaging revolution.

Professor 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.”

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Harnessing the full potential of emerging technologies is vital as we strive to meet our Industrial Strategy ambition to be the most innovative economy in the world.

“Our world-leading universities are pioneering ways to apply quantum technologies that could have serious commercial benefits for UK businesses. That’s why I am delighted to be announcing further investment in Quantum Technology Hubs that will bring academics and innovators together and make this once futuristic technology applicable to our everyday lives.”

UK Research and Innovation’s Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “The UK is leading the field in developing Quantum Technologies and this new investment will help us make the next leap forward in the drive to link discoveries to innovative applications. UKRI is committed to ensuring the best research and researchers are supported in this area.”

For more information on QuantIC visit www.quantic.ac.uk

Date: 11 July 2019

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