UK could lead world in quantum tech, says BT

Quantum computing

The opportunities of quantum technology were promoted to businesses by BT, in association with and IT consortium Innovation Martlesham, at the telecom giant's R&D HQ Adastral Park.

Off the back of 270 million of investment from the government into quantum technology research, BT believes the UK can become a leader in the space, with IT and components industries set to benefit in particular, as well as communications, financial services and healthcare.

The technology has many potential applications, including the ability to create quantum encryption, which could transmit information using entangled light to stop hackers - or governments - intercepting data in transit.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to host so many leading experts in such an exciting field," BT's managing director of research and innovation, Tim Whitley, said.

"Quantum technology is an important new frontier in research that has so much potential to change the way we work, and the UK has a chance to lead the world in developing and exploiting this technology."

He added: "We're delighted that BT and other Adastral Park companies have the opportunity to play a significant role in this cutting-edge work over the coming years."

Major players in the UK's National Quantum Technologies Programme, including Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and York universities, each run a quantum technology hub exploring different aspects of quantum technology.

All these universities attended the event, alongside the newly-formed Quantum Metrology Institute."The recent advances in Quantum Key Distribution demonstrated at Toshiba's Cambridge Labs clearly show the potential for Quantum technologies to transform many areas of our daily lives," said University of York' professor Tim Spiller, director of the Quantum Communications Hub.

"This was a new milestone for the protection of our networks and our data. Achievements like this across all industry sectors can create a thriving new market for quantum technologies and make the UK a global leader in this field."

Innovation Martlesham is a consortium of small, medium and large 70 ICT companies including Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Disect Systems and OXEMS, based at Adastral Park.

Together, the businesses share knowledge and collaborate, working alongside an ICT Business Incubator to help leverage opportunities for everyone at the site, however big or small their organisations are.

Innovation Martlesham is also a partner in the Quantum Communications Hub and has been asked to contribute to the development of new commercial products and services linked to quantum technologies.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.