Industrial collaboration at the speed of light

Industrial collaboration at the speed of light

Glasgow-SoR-IntroQuantIC, the UK Hub for quantum enhanced imaging, led by the University of Glasgow, is taking a novel approach to industrial collaboration and the way academic research is translated into innovative technologies for the market.

Through its strategy of creating a market led partnership resource fund, and dedicated innovation space to embed new technology, QuantIC has actively engaged with over 60 companies in its first year of operation.

Quantum physics has been one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century. It has led to widely used technology that can be found in our everyday lives such as the mobile phone, computers and lasers. New emerging quantum technologies are expected to have a huge impact on the world economy. The UK, with its world-class research base, is ideally placed to emerge as a global leader in the new quantum revolution and build a £1 billion industry through new applications that will transform the country’s economic and innovation landscape.

The UK government has responded to this transformative opportunity with a £270m investment in the UK National Quantum Technology Programme and QuantIC is one of four quantum technology hubs (and the only one led from Scotland) set up to exploit the potential of quantum science and develop a range of emerging technologies with potential economic and competitive advantage to the UK.

Since its launch in February 2015, QuantIC has actively engaged with overs 60 companies including Tullow Oil, e2v, Selex, ST Microelectronics, BAE Systems and M Squared Lasers, and has accelerated the translation of its academic research to technology through its market led approach to industrial collaboration. The dedicated partnership resource fund is allocated by a market opportunities panel consisting of industry leaders, and awards funds to projects with a clear translational pathway to exploitation in the partnering company.

A recent feasibility project between the University of Glasgow and M Squared Lasers, developers and manufacturers of next generation lasers and photonic equipment, involves the development of a prototype Single Pixel Camera for imaging gas leaks. The project is offering the potential for a low cost and highly portable remote gas detection system in a market that is estimated to be worth 2.3 billion US Dollars in 2018. To date, QuantIC has awarded six industrial collaboration projects.

The QuantIC Innovation Space is another mechanism that the Hub is using to expedite industrial collaboration to translate new emerging quantum technology. Located above the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow, companies developing quantum imaging or photonic based technology can apply to use the new lab and flexible office facilities for free, and co-locate with QuantIC’s academics to refine demonstrator systems and advance their Technology Readiness Level to full prototypes, an important step to market entry. Although not officially launched, the innovation space has already had applications from three companies to use the new facilities.

Dr Graeme Malcolm, CEO and Founder, M Squared Lasers said:

“QuantIC’s approach to industrial collaboration is focussed on supporting companies by adding value to their existing products and services. The input from their researchers has been invaluable and we are excited to be working with them on the new prototype single pixel camera.”

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