7 May 2014 10:01

Lancaster University is officially launching the first phase of its Quantum Technology Centre at a special event this month.

The centre is a highly-significant development for Lancashire and the North West as the Government pushes regions to identify smart technologies that can give them a competitive advantage and drive economic growth.

The Government recognises the huge potential of quantum technology and is investing £270 million, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Technology Strategy Board, to establish a network of quantum technology hubs across the UK.

Lancaster University will actively engage with the business community to exploit the market potential from the centre’s research – which also aims to develop a new cluster of high-tech companies setting up in the region to take advantage of the centre’s research output.

Investment in quantum technology forms part of the Lancashire Strategic Economic Plan, developed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. This would enable the Lancaster University Quantum Technology Centre to work with regional SMEs to develop and commercialise the centre’s research outcomes.

Lancaster University is seeking investments of around £35 million from the EPSRC and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership for additional facilities and equipment as part of the next phase of the centre’s development. This would increase the centre’s capacity for quantum research, train a new generation of technologists to work in existing businesses, as well as provide new quantum technology device manufacturing facilities.

The Quantum Technology Centre will build on the university’s status as home to the UK’s top-ranked physics department for research quality and will exploit the behaviour of matter at atomic/sub-atomic levels to create new products for computing, communications, measuring and sensing, medical diagnostics and a range of other technologically-disruptive applications with the potential to make many existing technologies obsolete.

Professor Yuri Pashkin, recruited by Lancaster University from leading Japanese IT corporation NEC to be a director of the Quantum Technology Centre, said: “Quantum technologies are an exciting field of physics that has the potential to offer huge advances in technologies that cut across many fields including energy, medical science, financial security and computing.

“Lancaster University has recognised the great potential of quantum technologies and has invested significantly in facilities and talent to create the Quantum Technology Centre.

“We believe the centre has the potential to be a very important strategic development for the region’s economic future through the commercial exploitation of our research.”

The first phase of the Quantum Technology Centre will be launched with a two-day event at the Lancaster University Conference Centre, which starts with an official launch between 4pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 28.

There will be a number of key note speakers at the launch, including: Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University; Professor David Delpy, Chair of UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board; Dr Lesley Thompson, Director, Sciences and Engineering at the EPSRC; Hermann Hauser CBE, Amadeus Capital Partners; Professors Tony Krier and Yuri Pashkin, Directors of the Lancaster Quantum Technology Centre.

The official launch will be followed, between 9.15am and 5pm on Thursday, May 29, with conference talks by external and internal speakers on the following themes: Superconducting quantum circuits; Quantum technologies at ultra-low temperatures; Semiconductor nanostructures and quantum devices; Quantum information; Quantum nano-mechanics; and Quantum technologies with 2D materials.

Places at the launch event www.qtc.lancs.ac.uk/launch can be booked by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lancaster-quantum-technology-centre-launch-tickets-11250754309

More information on the Quantum Technology Centre can be found at http://www.qtc.lancs.ac.uk/