University of York
One of four hubs, they represent one of the core investments of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, which aims to provide a route for the successful translation of quantum science into mainstream technological applications for economic benefit.
Quantum Communications Hub
The UK Government has published the latest National Quantum Strategy, which sets out a ten-year vision and plan for quantum in the UK, committing to spend a further £2.5 billion to research, innovation, skills and other activities in that period, as well as committing an additional £80 million over the next two years towards key activities. Established in 2014, the Quantum Communications Hub headed up by Prof. Tim Spiller forms a critical part of a national network of four UK Technology Hubs led by the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and York. The Hubs represent one of the core investments of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, which aims to provide a route for the successful translation of quantum science into mainstream technological applications for economic benefit.
This Hub’s focus is on quantum secure communications and in particular the development and subsequent commercialisation of applications reliant on Quantum Key Distribution or QKD – a mature quantum technology which provides cryptographic keys to enable ultra-secure encryption of information. The Hub’s academic partners include the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Kent, Oxford, Queen’s Belfast, Sheffield, Strathclyde, and the lead – York. The consortium further includes a number of major industrial partners such as BT, ID Quantique and Teledyne e2v, as well as numerous public sector stakeholders such as RAL Space and the National Physical Laboratory.
Our achievements over the original phase of the work (2014 – 2019) include: Building and launching the UK’s first Quantum Network, demonstrating that quantum secure communications can operate in the real world, alongside conventional high speed optical communications, using standard commercial grade optical fibre
The Hub is also funding a related project named QTRAX (A Pilot Field-Deployment of Continuous Variable Quantum Key Distribution over Track-Side Fibre), led by the experimental quantum communications team at the University of York, working in partnership with Network Rail and ADVA Optical Networking. It aims to deploy a quantum secured network using specialist systems at four strategic interconnection points along the new Network Rail Telecom (NRT) track-side dark fibre, from York to Manchester passing through Leeds and Huddersfield.