Glasgow University has announced the launch of a dedicated quantum technology centre to develop new projects and become a future ‘centre of excellence’.
The Centre for Quantum Technology aims to build on its “expertise and experience” as currently one of the largest quantum centres in the UK, boosting economic and societal benefits for Scotland as well as consolidating its research and teaching base.
Glasgow Uni said the new facility will help with R&D of new projects, such as gravity detectors the size of golf balls, precision cameras which see inside the human body, and new forms of secure communication.
The launch of the centre is the latest development for quantum research at the university. It already leads QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Imaging, which was launched in 2014 as part of the £1bn UK National Technologies Programme.
Glasgow researchers also contribute to the three other Quantum Technology Hubs launched at the same time and are currently working with more than 50 industrial partners.
Commenting on the announcement, centre director Professor Miles Padgett said: “We’re proud to be officially launching the Centre for Quantum Technology at the SPIE Photonex + Vacuum Technologies conference today. Over the last decade, the University of Glasgow has grown quantum research activity to become one of the largest quantum centres in the UK.
“The university is home to many of the leading engineers, physicists, and computing scientists working within quantum research in the UK. The technology they are pioneering has wide-ranging applications across physical and biological sensing and imaging, secure communication, and advanced computing.
“The centre aims to further build on these strengths and develop new commercial partnerships, translate fundamental research into new products, and to attract and retain the best researchers and students to the city.”
He added: “To that end, we’re delighted to have the support of the SPIE Endowment Matching Program to help us encourage the next generation of quantum researchers in academia and in industry.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming the programme’s first inductees to our new Advanced Research Centre, set to open next year, which will be home to many of our quantum research projects.”
The university’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and its commercial arm, Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd, have helped create many of the ‘cutting-edge’ components which work within quantum technologies in computing, imaging, communications, and sensors.
In the past, the university has received $500,000 (£425k) from the SPIE Endowment Matching Program, which has been matched by the university, creating a fund worth a total of $1m (£850k).
When the programme was announced last year, SPIE President John Greivenkamp said: “We are delighted to be participating in these exciting endeavours with the University of Glasgow.
“The interactive placements will offer transformative opportunities for the university’s academic and industry-based researchers, and, together with the annual scholarship, will develop well-prepared, knowledgeable early-career researchers who will drive the future of the quantum industry.”