Heriot-Watt University is part of a multi-million investment for Quantum Technologies Hubs to lead the UK's research drive



Science Minister, Chris Skidmore today, Thursday, July 11, announced £94 million funding investment for UK's Quantum Technologies Research Hubs.

The Hubs, centred at Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford, and York, will revolutionise sensing and timing, imaging, computing, and communications.

These collaborations between 26 universities involves 138 investigators and over 100 partners.

Heriot-Watt University is a major partner in two of these Hubs – Quantum Communications Hub and Quantum Enhanced Imaging Hub (QuantIC).

Professor Gerald Buller of Heriot-Watt's Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences said: “We are delighted to be involved in these Hubs working in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible collaborations for research and innovation.

“The funding will allow us to maximise the contribution of each part both by working individually and collectively.”

The Quantum Communications Hub, which is led by York University, will work alongside Heriot-Watt on satellite-to-ground quantum key distribution, new protocols for quantum communications and new quantum components.

The grand vision of the Quantum Communications Hub is to pursue quantum communications at all distance scales, to offer a range of applications and services and the potential for integration with existing infrastructure.

The Quantum Enhanced Imaging Hub (QuantIC), is a University of Glasgow-led research hub which focuses on the development of quantum-enhanced imaging systems and will be funded for five more years.

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

The main areas for Heriot-Watt University as part of this hub are:  Imaging through obscurants (eg fog), underwater quantum-enhanced imaging and new computational approaches for image reconstruction.

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.”