KETS and Airbus partner on Innovate UK grant to secure UAVs with quantum encryption

KETS Quantum Security Ltd is delighted to be working with partners; Airbus, ID Quantique and the Universities of Oxford and Bristol to develop a low-weight, high-speed free-space optical communication system with highly secure quantum encryption and eavesdropping detection.

This project is funded, in part, by Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency which recently announced the winners of £14m of national investment into this area. 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.

Innovate UK projects must be collaborations between one or more businesses, normally at small/medium-sized enterprises level (SME). Looking to be at the forefront of the new quantum revolution, Innovate UK has invested in these cutting-edge start-ups looking to take quantum technology out of the lab and into the real world. At the same time, they are encouraging close academic involvement from the labs which these technologies came from.

KETS’ CTO and former University of Bristol Quantum Technology Enterprise Fellow, Philip Sibson said. “This is an exciting year for us and this project presents a fantastic opportunity for KETS to demonstrate our chip to chip QKD system in a working prototype.  Working with partners such as Airbus means that we also have the benefit of their expertise and experience to ensure that the technology we’ve been developing for years in the lab translates successfully into real world applications. “

The project, which runs until March 2019 will see the development and demonstration of a very low Size Weight and Power (SWaP), QKD enabled unit suitable for the primary target of this proposal; the UAV market. Future potential applications also include space platforms, telecommunications (ground fibre based systems) and critical infrastructure; bringing with it end-users from finance, government, and data centres.

KETS’ Head of Technical Sales, Jake Kennard added, “Both the desktop demonstrator and the prototype UAV system we’re developing will provide an excellent way to demonstrate our technology to these other markets. We’re certainly not taking the easy route starting with drones!”

 

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.