£10m drive to take quantum technology “to another level”

The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, hosted at the University of Strathclyde, is leading an ambitious £10 million project to drive forward the development of faster, thumbnail size technology using quantum physics.

This quantum technology will exploit the properties of atoms and subatomic particles.

Strathclyde is one of 13 organisations from across the UK working in partnership with Fraunhofer to look at increasing the reliability - and reducing the size, weight, power consumption and cost - of laser components and systems.

Quantum technology (QT) is revolutionising areas such as navigation, communications, computing and healthcare.

By working together to produce miniature, integrated devices, the partners aim to encourage more organisations and industries to adopt quantum technology, thus widening application, markets and commercial opportunities. 

The project is funded by the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge led by UK Research and Innovation. It is part of a wider package delivered through the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme which is set to make a £1B investment over its lifetime.

Simon Andrews, Executive Director of Fraunhofer UK Research said: “This collaboration will revolutionise quantum technology and take it to another level of practicality. That sheer scale in the dimensions with which we’re working is extremely exciting and we’re delighted to be part of creating an advanced supply chain for a key technology which plays an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives.”

Dr Michael Strain of the Institute of Photonics, in the University of Strathclyde's Department of Physics, will, alongside Professor Martin Dawson, lead the Strathclyde contribution to this programme.

Dr Strain said: “The Institute of Photonics is delighted to support the University’s strategic partner, Fraunhofer CAP/UK, and its range of industrial partners, in the tremendously exciting and ambitious QT-Assemble programme. Our contribution will be based on our unique capability to mechanically assemble chip-scale structures with nanoscale precision.”

Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director for the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge, said: “This is an outstanding team with – in Fraunhofer CAP – a skilled leader. The assembly and integration processes addressed by this project are not only essential for the creation of new quantum products but are rich in the know-how through which the UK will establish a strong internationally competitive position.”