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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N015207/1
Title: Quantum Technology Capital: UKQNtel - Bringing the Telecoms Industry to the UK Quantum Network
Principal Investigator: Spiller, Professor TP
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BT Innovation Martlesham
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of York
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2016 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 2,049,030
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2015 QT Capital Call Sift panel Announced
17 Dec 2015 QT Capital Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Quantum communications technologies are new, disruptive technologies that can outperform what we use today, by providing security based upon the laws of physics. Current prototypes employ quantum uncertainty and randomness for security, and next-generation technologies may well use the even weirder and counter-intuitive feature of entanglement. Information security is absolutely essential everywhere today - for individuals, institutions, businesses, governments and nations. Current secure communications systems have some vulnerabilities, some at risk now and others that may be exposed in the future, as computing power and hacking techniques improve. Secure communications based on quantum physics can eliminate some of these vulnerabilities, providing systems whose security is underpinned by the laws of Nature, for example providing for the secure distribution of cryptographic keys.

Through EPSRC, the UK government is investing heavily in development across a spectrum of new quantum technologies, of which communications form a part. The Quantum Communications Hub is funded to develop current quantum key distribution (QKD) prototypes through to commercial readiness and to turn next-generation quantum communications demonstrations into prototype technologies. The aim is:

- to develop short-range, low cost QKD for mobile devices such as 'phones;

- to develop chip-scale QKD modules, for ease of manufacture and widespread and versatile deployment;

- to investigate new directions in quantum communications, going beyond simple QKD, for example to quantum versions of digital signatures for signing electronic messages or documents;

- to demonstrate QKD over networks and its integration with conventional communications.

The new project UKQNtel builds on the last of these directions. It will connect BT Research and the major ICT and telecommunications cluster at Adastral Park, Martlesham, to the UK Quantum Network (UKQN) being built by the Quantum Communications Hub. This will enable new and direct collaborations between companies at Adastral Park and the Hub partners, accelerating innovation. It will offer QKD and trial quantum-encrypted data services to a large cluster of companies in the very important telecommunications sector. It will enable major Showcase and Demonstration events for quantum technologies, utilizing the outstanding facilities at Adastral Park.

There is great potential for the UK to become a world-leader in the new quantum communications technologies and services arena - for individuals, institutions, businesses and government. In addition to the development of the technologies, it is vital to engage early across the whole spectrum of end-users, to generate "market pull". UKQNtel will crucially enable this early user engagement for the telecommunications and large business sector at Adastral Park. This will complement the consumer engagement in Bristol and the SME engagement on Cambridge Science Park already being pursued by the Quantum Communications Hub. Putting all this together will address user engagement for the whole spectrum of future markets.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.york.ac.uk