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Research centre opened to commercialise quantum cameras

The commercialisation of cameras built with innovative quantum technology will be the purpose of a new quantum technology research centre in Glasgow, UK. QuantIC, the Quantum Imaging Centre, brings together experts from the Universities of Glasgow, Bristol, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Oxford and Strathclyde along with more than 30 industry partners in a bid to see QuantIC’s imaging systems bring new benefits to the UK economy.

QuantIC is one of four new Quantum Technology Hubs which are sharing in £270 million in funding from the UK Government over the next five years, and is the only hub to be based in Scotland. The centre will be funded by a £27 million award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

During the launch event which took place at Glasgow Science Centre on 24 February, around 100 visitors from academic, industry and funding councils had the opportunity to learn more about QuantIC’s potential.

Technology demonstrators already developed by the partnership were on display, including a camera which uses a cheap single-pixel sensor to create video images beyond the spectrum of visible light. The project, developed at the University of Glasgow in close collaboration with Glasgow-based M Squared Lasers, has the potential to create affordable handheld video cameras capable of seeing areas of the spectrum only previously visible with large and expensive devices.

Professor Miles Padgett, QuantIC’s principal investigator and technical co-ordinator, commented: ‘QuantIC is a tremendously exciting opportunity for the University of Glasgow and its partners, with real potential to create transformative new technologies.

‘Our relationship with M Squared Lasers, which has supported the development of our single-pixel video imaging system, is an excellent example of the kind of industry collaboration QuantIC will create.’

At the launch event, Professor Steve Beaumont, director of QuantIC, said: ‘We are proud and pleased to be officially opening QuantIC at the Glasgow Science Centre today and making contact with representatives of industries with whom we may partner in the future.

‘The establishment of the centre at the University of Glasgow is an acknowledgement of the tremendous knowledge base we have in Scotland, including the world-leading James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, which will help create prototypes of new devices.

‘We’ve committed £4 million of our funding to working with our industry partners to ensure these exciting new technologies can reach consumers and contribute to the economy.’

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