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Digital Secretary opens new quantum laboratories at UCL

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, officially opened UCL’s new quantum laboratories, saying they will provide a boost to the university’s world-renowned research into the technology.

The new labs and cleanroom facilities at the main campus in Bloomsbury are dedicated to research in quantum technologies, funded through a combined investment of £12 million, with support from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Quantum Technology Programme.

The labs will enable further research into quantum technologies through offering tools for nano-fabrication and the measurement of quantum devices at ultra-low temperatures.

The new facilities are part of the UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute (UCLQ) and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. In addition to providing the critical research and fabrication tools needed to develop quantum technologies in the heart of London, these facilities will be an integral part of UCL’s world-leading quantum technology training programmes.

Boosted by UK government investment into quantum technology to date, industries such as transport, finance, aeronautical and pharmaceutical are starting to consider how quantum computing could revolutionise their businesses.

The facilities will help bring together global leaders in academia, big industry and SMEs, accelerating the translation of quantum technologies into the marketplace, and ensuring the UK remains a world leader in quantum technology markets.

Professor John Morton (UCLQ) said: “We’re entering a hugely exciting time for quantum technology in the UK. The new labs and cleanroom will ensure that the UK’s universities continue to provide the breakthroughs to advance the potential of these technologies as well as support a new quantum startup industry to develop them for commercial use.”

Digital Secretary, Jeremy Wright, said: “It was great to open UCL’s new quantum laboratories which have benefitted from £12 million investment from government. This facility will help the UK remain a world leader in quantum technology and support the development of cutting-edge science through our modern Industrial Strategy.

"From giving students the tools they need to explore this emerging technology to national programmes, we are extremely well placed to realise the commercial and social benefits of this groundbreaking innovation.”

Following a tour of the new labs, the Digital Secretary unveiled a plaque for the Quantum Engineering using Solid State Technologies (QUES2T) programme, through which the National Quantum Technology Programme invested £8.5m towards the new labs.

UCL recently announced a Prosperity Partnership with Google, through which researchers will study and develop quantum software for modelling and simulation, helping to develop the foundation of a quantum software industry in the UK.

The investment is part of the Government’s commitment to investing 2.4 per cent of GDP into research and development within the next ten years, with a long-term goal of three per cent. QUES2T is led by UCL, with partners at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Cardiff.

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