Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sheffield Uni spin-out secures £1.4m to develop secure quantum comms

A University of Sheffield spin-out has secured £1.4 million to develop secure quantum communications for fibre-optic and satellite-based applications.

AegiQ, a quantum photonics start-up, secured the Innovate UK as part of a consortium of companies. It will now join a global pilot project to provide scalable, high-performing semiconductor technology for next generation telecoms.

It will build communication infrastructure resistant to hacking by new quantum methods. The start-up is also championing the use and development of quantum photonic technologies.

Led by CEO and co-founder Dr Max Sich, AegiQ is part of the UK government’s £70 million funding initiative to secure the UK’s position as a world-leader in quantum technology.

Quantum cryptography is viewed as the key to future-proofing security by the telecoms industry, by addressing advances in quantum computing which make traditional messaging encryption methods vulnerable to attacks.

The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme expects “Quantum technologies to lead to major advances in […] the finance, defence, aerospace, energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors”.

“Thousands of AegiQ systems will be required in each data centre around the world, as they transition to using quantum technologies for communication and cloud computing,” said Dr Sich.

“Deploying our scalable technology with mass production capabilities into initiatives like this project will position the UK as a world-leader in manufacturing quantum communications.”

AegiQ is currently raising its seed round of investment. The Innovate UK funding will also enable it to invest in the further R&D and production of its technology.

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