The minister made the announcements during a visit to the University of Oxford where he met academics working in the Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Quantum Technology Hub, which is led by Professor Ian Walmsley, one of four that form part of the GBP 270 million UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.
The funds for doctoral training will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which has changed how funding is allocated through its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).
The DTP funds will support students for the academic years beginning October 2016 and 2017. The changes have been made to give institutions greater certainty and increased time to plan their DTP programmes. The University of Oxford will receive GBP 13.5 million for its programme.
The Quantum Technologies funding is split between three Quantum Training & Skills Hubs in Quantum Systems Engineering, and seven strategic capital investment packages. The Hubs will receive GBP 12 million and GBP 25 million will be allocated via capital.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson stated: "We are committed to securing the UK's position as a world leader in science and innovation. The Government is ensuring major new discoveries happen here, such as the creation of super-powerful quantum computers which scientists are working on in Oxford. This new funding builds on our protection for science spending by supporting research in our world-leading universities and helping to train the science leaders of tomorrow."
EPSRC's Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, stated: "This year we are allocating GBP 167 million to universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). These will cover a two year period and give institutions greater certainty and increased time to plan their DTP programmes, and support excellent doctoral students.
In addition, we are investing in training and providing capital for research to ensure that the National Quantum Technologies Programme can make the most of the country's research talents.
These strategic investments will help science push at the boundaries and make discoveries that are taken through into innovations."
The funding is a part of the Government's ongoing commitment to UK science, with a record GBP 6.9 billion invested in science labs and equipment up to 2021, and protection of the science budget at GBP 4.7 billion per year in real terms for the rest of the parliament.
Quantum Technologies Strategic Capital investments are:
This grant will fund advanced crystal growth equipment to enable the growth of nanometre-scale semiconductor quantum dots with world-leading properties. These properties include emission limited only by fundamental properties of the dots unaffected by the surrounding environment, and ordered arrays of dots, critical to enable scale-up and to translate the much excellent science of quantum dots to highly competitive Quantum Technologies.
Quantum technologies require complex control systems and packaging to ensure that the quantum effects that they use are not corrupted by their environment or external disturbances such as magnetic fields.
Complex simulation tools, which allow a 'virtual' prototype of the control and packaging to be created are beginning to be applied to these systems. The aim of this project is to build on this, and develop standard methods that allow detailed simulation of a wide range of quantum technologies. These models and methods will be evaluated by using a test platform to measure the performance of the 'real' hardware against the simulated prototype.
Superconducting Quantum Technology (SuQT) - a state-of-the-art electron beam lithography (EBL) system that will enable the exploration and exploitation of a new generation of SuQT including quantum meta-materials, coherent quantum phase slip (with consequent potential for a redefinition of the unit of electrical current, the Ampere), microwave quantum optics and quantum limited amplification as well as further development of multi-qubit devices. As world leaders in the field Royal Holloway's team will build on its strong collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory and initiate a further collaboration with JEOL, the world-market leaders in EBL systems to form a consortium that can offer SuQT nanofabrication facilities.
Quantum Engineering of Solid-State Technologies, or QUES2T - to address the capability gap in quantum solid-state technologies and ensure the UK is in a strong competitive position in some of the most high-impact and scalable quantum technologies. In QUES2T we focus on three solid-state platforms which are well-poised to make significant commercial impact: i) silicon nano-devices, ii) superconducting circuits and iii) diamond-based devices.
Professor Thompson will establish a UK quantum device prototyping service, focusing on design, manufacture, test, packaging and rapid device prototyping of quantum photonic devices. QuPIC will provide academia and industry with an affordable route to quantum photonic device fabrication through commercial-grade fabrication foundries and access to supporting infrastructure. QuPIC will provide qualified design tools tailored to each foundry's fabrication processes, multiproject wafer access, test and measurement, and systems integration facilities, along with device prototyping capabilities.
The goal is to 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, utilising the outstanding facilities at Adastral Park.
The goal is to install the world's first single ion implantation tool with 20nm lateral beam focus, with the ability to implant any species from gas or solid source. The tool will serve the UK need for an open access user facility for academia and industry in QTs.
The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQTP) aims to ensure the successful transition of quantum technologies from laboratory to industry. The programme is delivered by EPSRC, Innovate UK, BIS, NPL, GCHQ, Dstl and the KTN.
The University of Oxford led by Professor Ian Walmsley - Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) (Quantum Computing/Simulation)
Quantum information processing will enable users to solve problems that even the most powerful of today's supercomputers struggle with. They will accelerate the discovery of new drugs or materials by simulating different molecular designs using programmable software, thus dramatically reducing the laborious trial and error of making each molecule in the laboratory.
Another application is making sense of 'Big Data', the immense torrent of information about economics, climate, and health that can help us make better predictions of future trends.
The Oxford-led Hub partners with academics from the universities of Bath, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, Southampton, Strathclyde, Sussex and Warwick, as well as dozens of national and international companies.
Quantum Sensors and Metrology will dramatically improve the accuracy of measurement of time, frequency, rotation, magnetic fields, gravity and other key fundamental measures, which will have impact across a wide range of fields, from electronic stock trading to GPS navigation. They will deliver unprecedented views into the brain for dementia research and into the ground allowing reduced roadworks, detecting sinkholes and finding archaeological treasures.
The Birmingham-led Hub partners with academics at the universities of Southampton, Strathclyde, Sussex, Nottingham and Glasgow and aims to build a supply chain for quantum sensor technology, build a series of quantum sensor and metrology prototype devices and develop the market and links between academia and industry.
QuantIC will develop new types of camera with unprecedented sensitivity and the capacity to time the arrival of the detected light. These cameras will open up new markets in medical imaging; security and environmental monitoring; and manufacturing of high value materials. Quantum cameras will be able to visualise gas leaks, see clearly through smoke, look round corners or underneath the skin. Quantum sensors developed by the Hub will detect single contaminant molecules and detect electromagnetic and gravitational fields with exceptional sensitivity.
The University of Glasgow-led Hub partners with academics from the universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Oxford, Strathclyde, and Heriot-Watt University.
Quantum Communications can transform the security of data and transactions across multiple sectors and users, ranging from government and industry to commerce and consumers.
The York-led Hub is aiming for breakthroughs that will lead to widespread and affordable use of the technology. These include: chip-scale integration based on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), thus reducing the size and manufacturing costs of equipment; building a UK Quantum network for the demonstration and testing of new equipment and services - providing early access to advanced technologies for industry, business clusters and communities of users.
The Hub partnership includes leading researchers from the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Heriot-Watt, Leeds, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, Strathclyde and York, collaborating with world-class researchers working in the labs of industrial partners.
Several companies and organisations are formally involved in one or more of the Hubs these include: BT, Toshiba, e2v, M Squared Lasers, Dstl, AWE, NPL, Thales, Coherent Lasers, BP, Compound Semiconductor, GCHQ, Selex, Oxford Instruments, and Kelvin Nanotechnology.