News & Analysis Physics World  December 2017

Bristol unveils plans for £43m quantum technologies centre

Fast track More than 200 researchers are expected to work at the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre in Bristol once it opens in 2021. (University of Bristol)

A new Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC) will be built by the University of Bristol, UK, at a cost of £43m. According to the university, the centre will allow more than 200 academic researchers to work in partnership with industry. QTIC will focus on the development of a range of quantum technologies including secure quantum communications, quantum sensing, quantum simulators and quantum computers.

“QTIC is the world’s first dedicated open-access innovation centre facility for developing a broad spectrum of quantum technologies,” says Mustafa Rampuri, who is programme manager for the centre. He adds that the centre will provide “pay-as-you-go incubator labs and office space, access to state-of-the-art equipment, supported by experts in a range of business, technology and manufacturing areas”.

The centre is scheduled to open in 2021 on a site near Bristol’s Temple Meads railway station. It will include a “talent academy”, which will support a range of students – from apprentice technicians to PhD-level engineers.

£15m of the money for QTIC will come from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and £7m from the University of Bristol. The remaining £21m has been secured from industrial partners including Airbus Defence and Space and Boeing Defence UK.

“We are looking forward to working with QTIC and the University of Bristol on quantum topics to support and establish a supply chain for these technologies, essential for our future ability to bring quantum enhanced platforms to market,” says Paolo Bianco, research and technology co-operation manager at Airbus.

Smaller companies involved with QTIC include Canada’s D-Wave Systems, which builds quantum computers, and KETS Quantum Security. KETS makes systems for quantum cryptography and was founded in 2016 by Chris Erven, Phil Sibson and Jake Kennard of the University of Bristol.

Hamish Johnston