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18 June 2015

BT ready to ‘lead the world’ in quantum communications

quantum communications hub

More than 70 start-ups, SMEs and IT companies based at BT’s Adastral Park tech cluster in Ipswich, Suffolk, have been invited to play a pivotal role in the cutting-edge world of quantum communications.

A new £270 million quantum communications hub will see members of ‘Innovation Martlesham’ forming a network of expertise to develop new services based on pioneering quantum research.

Kick starting quantum technologies

Led by the University of York, the hub is a consortium of universities, government bodies and industry players, including BT.

The new hub is one of four that are the centre-piece of a new national network of quantum technology hubs. Established with £270 million of government funding, the intention is to kick start new industries based on quantum technologies and build a market for quantum products and services in the UK.

Lead the world

Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s head of research, said: “Quantum communications is an exciting new frontier in communications research, and the UK has a chance to lead the world in developing and exploiting this technology.

“We’re excited that BT and other Adastral Park companies will have the opportunity to play a significant role in this cutting-edge work over the coming years.”

New range of opportunities

BT has long been leading its own research into quantum communications at Adastral Park, focusing on Quantum Key Distribution, an advanced technique for securely sharing 'keys' used in encrypted communications.

The company will build on this work as part of the hub, with BT researchers looking to test how quantum techniques might be applied to various aspects of telecommunications, including transferring data securely over networks, developing new secure services for clients, and new security apps.

The hub will also provide a range of opportunities for businesses in the Innovation Martlesham cluster to exploit the possibilities of this new field.