University establishes new Quantum Technology centre


On Wednesday Week 6, Lancaster University are launching the first phase of the new Quantum Technology centre in a two day event at the Lancaster University Conference Centre. The centre will help to enhance Lancaster’s status as the UK’s top ranked physics department for research quality and will also exploit the behaviour of matter at atomic and sub-atomic levels to create new products. These include products for computing, communications, measuring and sensing, medical diagnostics and a range of other technologically-disruptive applications which have the potential to make existing technologies obsolete.

Professor Yuri Pashkin, who was recruited by Lancaster from the 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, and financial security and computing.”

The official launch will start on Wednesday between 4pm and 6.30pm and will feature speakers such as Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, Professor David Delpy and Chair of UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board, Dr Lesley Thompson. The Director of Sciences and Engineering at the EPSRC Hermann Hauser CBE will also speak, as well as Amadeus Capital Partners Professors Tony Krier and Yuri Pashkin, who are also Directors of the Quantum Technology Centre.

This event will be followed by further conference talks on Thursday between 9.15am and 5pm. This event will see talks by both external and internal speakers on themes such as Superconducting quantum circuits, Quantum technologies at ultra-low temperatures, Semiconductor nanostructures and quantum devices and Quantum information. There will also be talks on Quantum nano-mechanics and Quantum technologies with 2D materials.

For the University, the launch of the centre means they will be actively communicating with the business world to exploit the market potential from the centre’s research. This research aims to help develop a new group of high-tech companies setting up in the region, in order to take advantage of the centre’s research output.

The centre is also a very significant development for the Lancashire and the North West region as the Government are currently pushing regions to identify smart technologies that can give them a competitive advantage and drive economic growth. Pashkin said “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 investment in quantum technology is part of the Lancashire Strategic Economic Plan which was developed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. It will enable the Quantum Technology Centre to work with regional enterprises to develop and commercialise the centre’s research outcomes.

Currently, Lancaster is pursuing the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership for investments of around £35 million to gain additional facilities and equipment for the next phase of the centre’s development. If they acquire this extra funding then it will increase the centre’s capacity for quantum research and will mean that Lancaster will be able to train a new generation of technologists to work in existing businesses and provide new quantum technology device manufacturing facilities.

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