Quantum research is to be taken from the laboratory and into the commercial world with the world’s first open access Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre planned for Bristol.
Dr Philip Sibson in Bristol University’s existing Quantum Engineering Technology Centre
The £43m QTIC has been funded in partnership by £15m from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £21m from industrial partners and £7m from the University of Bristol. It will be based in the university’s new enterprise campus, which is to be built in the heart of the city.
The quantum world – which exists at the atomic and subatomic level – can be exploited to make a range of technologies faster, smaller, and more secure. The government believes the technology will be worth £1bn to the UK economy in the next decade.
Over 200 researchers at Bristol University will work in partnership with companies to develop prototype technologies and help in establishing new quantum businesses. The centre will also provide affordable specialist incubation facilities.
In its first 10 years, it’s anticipated the centre will lead to 9,000 new jobs and generate almost £300m for the economy. It will enable the design, development and prototyping of devices for secure communications, new sensors, simulators and ultra-powerful computers.
These new technologies are predicted to impact on sectors including defence, finance, aerospace, energy and information and communications technology (ICT).
“The opportunities are vast and very exciting,” said Mustafa Rampuri, programme manager for QTIC. “Our aim is for the facility to be an internationally recognised centre for the engineering and commercialisation of practical integrated quantum technologies, enabling companies from any sector to co-create new products and exploit the quantum advantage.”
The full-scale facility will open in 2021 and will be home to a ‘talent academy’ to support the training of apprentice technicians through to PhD qualified quantum engineers and entrepreneurs.