Innovation Martlesham firms offered role in Quantum Communications Hub

Dr Tim Whitley, BT's managing director for research and technology at Adastral Park.

Dr Tim Whitley, BT's managing director for research and technology at Adastral Park.

The cluster of more than 70 technology companies at BT’s Adastral Park complex near Ipswich are being offered the chance to play a key role in the cutting-edge world of quantum communications.

Members of Innovation Martlesham have been invited to take part in the development of new products and services based on pioneering research in quantum physics, as part of a new Quantum Communications Hub.

The hub, a consortium of universities, government bodies and industry players including BT, is part of a new national network of quantum technology hubs, established with £270million of Government funding to kick-start new industries based on quantum technologies.

Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s managing director of research and innovation, 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.”

BT has been conducting its own research into quantum communications at Adastral Park for several years, 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.

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