NEWS

Bristol to be the centre of the quantum tech industry in the UK

Photo of KETS CTO Phil Sibson

The University of Bristol has this week, announced plans to establish the world’s first open access Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre, focusing on taking quantum research from the lab and into the commercial world and positioning the UK as a global leader in the field.

The £43 million Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC) has been funded in partnership by £15 million from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £21 million from industrial partners and £7 million from the University of Bristol. It will be based in the University’s new enterprise campus, to be built in the heart of the city.

KETS CEO, Chris Erven said “Together, we can capitalise on the very large investment in quantum technology in the UK. We look forward to being one of the first tenants of QTIC, as we strive to grow KETS into a vibrant, expanding, and innovative digital communications security company empowering next generation IT systems and leading the Quantum 2.0 revolution.”

“QTIC looks to bring networks of people and different application areas together with new technologies to foster radically different ideas and this is exactly what companies like ours will need to be successful in this new and emerging market.”

The Government has already shown its commitment to making the UK a ‘go-to’ place for the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies, investing £270 million over five years into a National Quantum Technologies Programme to accelerate the translation of quantum technologies into the marketplace.

The University of Bristol, where KETS technology was developed, is a major partner in two Quantum Hubs and predicts through its current QT enterprise programme that it will help to establish over 40 new quantum businesses as a result, which in turn will benefit from the facilities on offer at QTIC.

 

KETS announced as Telecom Infra Project start-up competition winners

BT, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and Facebook today announced KETS as one of the first three small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to be admitted into the UK Telecom Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC), based at BT Lab facilities in London’s Tech City and Adastral Park, Suffolk.

The TEAC initiative is part of TIP which was founded last year by EE, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Nokia, Intel and SK Telecom. TIP is a global movement comprising more than 450 operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators, and other technology companies who want to challenge and transform the traditional approach to building and deploying telecoms network infrastructure.

KETS, along with the two other SMEs (Zeetta Networks andUnManned Life), will join the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC) in the UK, a programme announced by BT, TIP and Facebook earlier this year, which will help SMEs working in the field of network infrastructure to bring their innovative ideas to market more rapidly.

This is a fantastic opportunity for KETS and QKD technology development in the UK. We are extremely grateful and excited about our involvement in the project.

Read more on this story from BT

World’s first Chip-based Quantum Key Distribution

Complex cryptography protects our bank accounts and identities from fraud, allowing us to safely buy and sell online without ever leaving the comfort of our living rooms. But the potential introduction of ultra-powerful quantum computers renders our personal information vulnerable to direct attack.

Researchers at the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QETLabs) and KETS founders, have developed tiny microchip circuits which exploit the strange world of quantum mechanics and provide a level of security enhanced by the laws of quantum physics. These devices distribute cryptographic keys using the quantum properties of entanglement, superposition and the absolute randomness provided by quantum behaviour, which is reproducible by no other means.

Principal investigator Professor Mark Thompson said: “The system we have developed allows information to be exchanged using single photons of light in a quantum state.

“If an eavesdropper hacks your transmission, they will collapse the fragile quantum states and the system will immediately alert you to their presence and terminate the transmission.”

This work, published in the February issue of Nature Communications, has demonstrated the world’s first chip-to-chip quantum secured communication system, using microchip circuits just a few millimetres in size.

This international collaboration, including researchers from Bristol, Glasgow and NiCT in Japan, used commercial semiconductor chip manufacturers to make their devices – in much the same way as Intel pattern silicon to make the latest central processing units (CPUs). However, instead of using electricity these miniaturised devices used light to encode information at the single photon level, providing encryption keys with an unlimited lifetime.

Lead author Philip Sibson, added: “Our research opens the way to many applications that have, until now, been infeasible.

“The technology is miniaturised for handheld devices, has enhanced functionality for telecommunications networks, and employs cost-effective manufacturing to feasibly deploy quantum key distribution technology in the home.”

Dr Chris Erven explained: “As part of the UK Quantum Communications Hub, we are in the process of deploying these devices throughout the heart of the Bristol City fibre-optic network, allowing us to test out these ultra-secure communications systems in real-world scenarios.”

This work has been supported by the UK Quantum Communication Hub, part of the National Network of Quantum Technology hubs, demonstrating the next generation of quantum technologies.

WIRED interviews KETS about Quantum Cryptography

The article entitled “The quantum clock is ticking on encryption – and your data is under threat” explores the ways quantum computing and quantum technologies may threaten data security and the technologies which are trying to keep information safe. Of all of the technologies available WIRED agree that there is one potential quantum based system that could help keep information secure – Quantum Key Distribution

The team from WIRED interviewed our CTO, Philip Sibson, an expert in using quantum physics to build a secure key to pass information which cannot be intercepted undetected.

The full article can be read on WIRED’s website.

KETS’ CTO Joins the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre

Dr. Philip Sibson, KETS CTO, has become one of the first Quantum Technology Enterprise Fellows. QTEC is a collaboration between the University of Bristol and The Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University and aims to create a world-leading hub to train entrepreneurially minded quantum systems engineers. It brings together companies, investors, and the facilities and skills essential for incubation of early-stage businesses in the emerging quantum technology industry.

It is part of the £270m government investment in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, with a mission to support the translation of revolutionary technology from the lab into the commercial market.

Find out more about QTEC via their website.

KETS’ ‘Game changer’ technology scoops top prize in the New Enterprise Competition

Enterprise Dinner 2015, University of Bristol

KETS new quantum technology to ensure data is secure has won the University of Bristol’s equivalent to Dragon’s Den and a share of over £35,000 prize money. KETS uses quantum cryptography to improve data encryption – ensuring information is safe in all situations, from bank transactions to critical infrastructure, and to individuals shopping online from the comfort of their own home.

Their concept beat 103 entries to scoop the top prize in the New Enterprise Competition which was judged by a panel of industry experts. The team won £10,000 in cash, £2,000 worth of legal support and a year in the Bristol SETsquared Centre – the University’s double award-winning business incubator – to help develop the technology further, explore potential uses and how it can be licensed to industry.

KETS CEO, Dr Chris Erven, said: “It’s fantastic to win and the judging panel were very receptive to our pitch. It’s really starting to snowball now and this extra investment and support will make a huge difference. KETS technology will provide for secure communications in a fundamentally new way.”

Dr Kennard added: “It’s been a real team effort, building on all the excellent work which has been going on in Bristol for the last 10 years. We’re the first of hopefully many spin-outs to come from the Centre for Quantum Photonics at the University of Bristol, focusing on building devices that real people will use.”

This year’s competition entries were judged by a panel of industry experts from sponsoring organisations including Deloitte, Wyvern, SETsquared, Santander, IP Group, Airbus, Motorola, Watertight Marketing, Social Enterprise Works, Marketest and Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Find out more here.