2020: A reflective look back

A message from QuantIC Director, Professor Steve Beaumont

As 2020 comes to an end, I am taking some time to pause and reflect on what can only be described as an extraordinary year. I don’t think any of us could have predicted what 2020 was to bring.  Despite the enormous challenges we have faced, QuantIC has successfully delivered the first year of Phase 2 of the National Quantum Technologies Programme for Quantum Imaging thanks to your continued support and engagement.

Some of my own personal highlights were:

  • Thorlabs releasing their commercial, turnkey correlated photon-pair source tool (SPDC810); pioneered by the research and development of University of Bristol start-up company Raycal.
  • QuantIC approving 16 new PhD scholarships across the programme. 10 of which were co-funded with our industry partners who contributed more than £400k towards them.
  • The launch of the Phase 2 £4m Partnership Resource Fund
  • QuantIC’s first online webinar series in June where 781 people participated.
  • The UK National Quantum Technologies Showcase in November where QuantIC delivered some fascinating virtual demonstrations and we saw the launch of the NQTP strategic vision for the next 10 years.
  • QuantIC start-ups QLM Technology and Photon Force both receiving an Institute of Physics Business Innovation Award.
  • The wider recognition of the world-class calibre of QuantIC’s research team:
    • Prof Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, received an OBE for his services to scientific research and outreach.
    • Prof Steve McLaughlin, Heriot-Watt, being nominated for a EURASIP Fellowship for his outstanding achievements in signal processing for computational imaging and communications.
    • Prof Doug Paul, University of Glasgow, was awarded a Chair in Emerging Technologies by the Royal Academy of Engineering for his work in quantum navigation.

Quantum imaging and quantum technologies have never been in a better position with the UK aspiring to create a quantum enabled economy.  The aim to become a global centre of excellence in quantum science and technology, the go-to place for quantum industry, and the preferred location for global talent.

This vision will only be achieved through strong collaboration and partnerships and I would like to take a moment to thank you for your own personal contribution to QuantIC, and the wider National Programme.

May I wish you joy and happiness over the festive season and, on behalf of the QuantIC team, I look forward to seeing how much we can achieve together in 2021.

With best wishes,

Prof. Steve Beaumont, QuantIC Director