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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S021582/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Delivering Quantum Technologies
Principal Investigator: Warburton, Professor PA
Other Investigators:
Buitelaar, Dr MR Bose, Professor S Szymanska, Professor MH
Morton, Professor JJL
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Bluefors Oy BT Cambridge Quantum Computing Limited
Google HGF Limited Hitachi Europe Ltd
Keysight Technologies Inc Microsoft Nature Physics
Networked Quantum Information Technology PhaseCraft Ltd QinetiQ
Quandela SAS Quantemol Quantum Communications Hub (QComm)
Quantum Motion Rigetti & Co Inc Riverlane
Siemens Toshiba Zurich Instruments
Department: London Centre for Nanotechnology
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 7,015,222
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel H – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
For many years, quantum mechanics has been a curiosity at the heart of physics. Its development was essential to many of the key breakthroughs of 20th century science, but it is famous for counter-intuitive features; the superposition illustrated by Schrödinger's cat; and the quantum entanglement responsible for Einstein's "spooky action at a distance". Quantum Technologies are based on the idea that the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics also presents a technological opportunity. Since quantum mechanical systems behave in a fundamentally different way to large-scale systems, if this behaviour could be controlled and exploited it could be utilised for fundamentally new technologies.

Ideas for using quantum effects to enhancing computation, cryptography and sensing emerged in the 1980s, but the level of technology required to exploit them was out of reach. Quantum effects were only observed in systems at either very tiny scales (at the level of atoms and molecules) or very cold temperatures (a fraction of a degree above absolute zero). Many of the key quantum mechanical effects predicted many years ago were only confirmed in the laboratory in the 21st century. For example, a decisive demonstration of Einstein's spooky action at a distance was first achieved in 2015. With such rapid experimental progress in the last decade, we have reached a turning point, and quantum effects previously confined to university laboratories are now being demonstrated in commercially fabricated chips and devices.

Quantum Technologies could have a profound impact on our economy and society; Quantum computers that can perform computations beyond the capabilities of the most powerful supercomputer; microscopic sensing devices with unprecedented sensitivity; communications whose security is guaranteed by the laws of physics. These technologies could be hugely transformative, with potential impacts in health-care, finance, defence, aerospace, energy and transport.

While the past 30 years of quantum technology research have been largely confined to universities, the delivery of practical quantum technologies over the next 5-10 years will be defined by achievements in industrial labs and industry-academic partnerships. For this industry to develop, it will be essential that there is a workforce who can lead it. This workforce requires skills that no previous industry has utilised, combining a deep understanding of the quantum physics underlying the technologies as well as the engineering, computer science and transferrable skills to exploit them.

The aim of our Centre for Doctoral Training is to train the leaders of this new industry. They will be taught advanced technical topics in physics, engineering, and computer science, alongside essential broader skills in communication and entrepreneurship. They will undertake world-class original research leading to a PhD. Throughout their studies they will be trained by, and collaborate with a network of partner organisations including world-leading companies and important national government laboratories. The graduates of our Centre for Doctoral Training will be quantum technologists, helping to create and develop this potentially revolutionary 21st-century industry in the UK.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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