The Quantum Innovation Lab is a collaborative event between industry partners and academics. The goal is to focus on the interests of industrial partners to discuss large problems and how they may be approached using quantum technologies, and to explore ideas that may form the basis for future collaborative research.
What is Quantum technology?
Quantum technology refers to any device or protocol that exploits quantum mechanics to reach superior levels of performance over its conventional counterpart. The simplest categorisation divides quantum technology into three application areas:
Communication: this area aims to demonstrate cryptographically secure communications, the strength of which is guaranteed by quantum physics.
Computation: aims to develop both hardware and algorithms for a computing device, capable of solving problems in molecular simulation, optimisation and machine learning at speeds unattainable by other means.
Metrology & sensing: aims to construct a new generation of measurement and sensing technologies, operating at sensitivities inaccessible to conventional devices.
During the event, the industry representatives will work with academic experts to explore how quantum technology might enhance their business. These discussions will be tailored into one of two streams depending on the partner's current awareness of quantum technology: consultation and collaboration.
For those companies with little knowledge of how quantum physics could be used to improve their technology, our consultation stream allows discussion with academics to generate ideas for the inclusion of quantum technologies in their business. Initially, the discussions should identify a general direction that the industry partner wishes to explore with quantum technology. The ultimate aim of this consultation stream is to refine these broad problems to more specific research problems in quantum technologies and their applications for this industry partner.
The collaboration stream will bring together industry partners and academics to discuss more precise problems, promoting active development of collaborations. This is for those companies that have a clearer idea of how they want quantum technology to be used in their business. The aim of this stream is to bring people together to begin longer term collaborations between industry and academia here in Bristol, leading to benefits for both.
After the event
There is significant scope for further exploration with researchers at Bristol. The Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training annually attracts a large cohort of talented PhD students eager to explore the benefits of quantum technologies to wider industry. As a direct result of QIL 2017, one student is undertaking a PhD project in collaboration with Hitachi Cambridge. These studentships can be sponsored by an industrial partner and so there is scope for outcomes of the Quantum Innovation Lab to be quickly translated into research.
Bristol is also a key institution in the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, allowing it to catalyse collaborative efforts between industry partners and other universities in the UK; this collaboration could take the form of consultancy, or could result in joint applications for funding from national and international funding bodies.
Any projects that result from the Quantum Innovation Lab will be driven towards near-future products or services that can be commercialised.
If you would like to know more about the event or would like assistance on whether to apply, contact us here.