£28m to extend research

Funding supports technology that ‘makes the invisible visible’


Pioneering tech enables cameras to look around corners


Scientists developing technology that makes the “invisible visible”, such as cameras capable of looking around corners and seeing clearly through smoke, have secured funding for another five years.

A Glasgow university-led research hub will receive £28m from the UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, brings together the Universities of Glasgow, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College, Strathclyde and Southampton with industrial partners from across the UK.

The funding for the second phase of QuantIC’s operations is part of £94m announced by Science Minister Chris Skidmore in support of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Since it was established in 2014 as one of four quantum hubs supported by £270m in funding from the UK Government, QuantIC has pioneered new ways to make ‘the invisible visible’ using quantum technologies.

Across the consortium, the hub’s major research successes to date include the development of QuantiCAM, a digital camera which captures photons 10,000 times faster than conventional cameras, and cameras capable of novel imaging feats including looking around corners and seeing clearly through smoke.

QuantIC has incubated three spinout companies and over the next five years it will continue to develop revolutionary imaging systems, such as the ability to see directly inside the human body, the ability to see through fog and smoke, to make microscopes with higher resolution and lower noise than classical physics allows, and quantum radars that cannot be jammed or confused by other radars around them.

Professor Steve Beaumont, director of QuantIC said it had developed significant technological breakthroughs and forged 39 project partnerships with industry across the UK.

“We’ve also worked hard to encourage the next generation of pioneering quantum engineers, investing more than half a million pounds in 12 industry-led studentships,” he said.

Professor Miles Padgett, QuantIC’s principal investigator, said: “When QuantIC started up in 2014, we had 30 industry partners. Today, we actively engage with more than 70 companies, an expansion of our user network which we’re immensely proud of.

“It shows that there is huge commercial potential for the kind of quantum-enhanced technologies we’re working on. We’re delighted that we’ve received the funding we need to continue helping the UK keep its place on the world stage in cutting-edge research and development.”

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