EPSRC calls for Quantum Technology Hubs to put UK in super position
4 Feb 2014 Swindon -
A GBP155 million fund for a national network of Quantum Technology Hubs that will exploit the properties of quantum physics to develop quantum technologies - with a view to eventual application - has been opened for bids by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Between GBP10-20 million per Hub will be available and this will be complemented by a GBP75 million fund for capital investment across the network.
EPSRC has worked with the science community to identify areas where the development of quantum technologies has the potential to make a transforming impact. These will definitely include the following five areas:
- Quantum Secure Communications
- Quantum Metrology
- Quantum Sensors
- Quantum Simulators
- Quantum Computation
Applicants submitting a bid for a Hub may choose to address one or more of these areas.
Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, stated: "Quantum Technologies are an exciting and emerging field that represent a major opportunity for the UK. This new investment in a national network of quantum technology hubs will transform our capacity, keeping us ahead in the global race. It builds on our strong science base and will help deliver future economic growth."
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC's Chief Executive stated: "I am confident that this call will be met with enthusiasm and imagination. The country now has a major opportunity to harness and exploit the research strengths that exist across the UK academic landscape. These Hubs will work in partnership with industry to tackle the key technological challenges that need be overcome to realise the promise of Quantum Technologies."
The funding call is part of the UK government's GBP270 million, multi-stakeholder, Quantum Technologies Programme which is being delivered by EPSRC and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) in partnership with other stakeholders. It is aimed at realising the potentially transformative impact of Quantum Technologies across business, government and society. The programme will also include activities to develop high level skills for the UK in Quantum Technologies, and a joint EPSRC/TSB Innovation Fund to move promising research closer to application.
Each Hub will be expected to:
- Focus on challenges associated with translation of quantum science through technology to potential application, addressing at least one theme identified in the call.
- Offer visionary leadership, with the ability to collaborate with other hubs and the wider community to deliver a national strategy for Quantum Technology.
- Act as an international centre of excellence, able to harness existing strengths from across the research landscape, through consortia that bring together researchers and research translators in relevant areas such as Engineering, ICT, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics.
- Have significant engagement with industry and other stakeholders, as this is essential to develop a Quantum Technologies industry base in the UK. Partnerships should be strong from the outset, with collaboration agreements in place. They should also have an actively managed strategy for engaging with key agencies, partners and businesses relevant to the application area(s) the Hub seeks to address.
- Actively manage the technology translation process. Hubs must manage resources flexibly to maximise exploitation opportunities. Work on proof of principles and moving toward the demonstration and production of prototype devices will be central to the deliverables. Hubs must include fabrication capabilities for Quantum Technology devices, and investigate potential appropriate routes to manufacture. Hubs should also engage with later stage translation funding opportunities and investments.
- Foster linkages with investments from multiple UK/EU stakeholders in order to build a co-ordinated UK endeavour. This includes fabrication facilities, Doctoral Tainting Provision, the EPSRC/TSB innovation programme, the NPL Advanced Metrology Lab, and other Government and industry investments in the UK research and innovation landscape.