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UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee Holds Quantum Technologies Webinar

Quantum Technologies were recently the focus of a UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee webinar, an event which saw Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits, Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director of Quantum Technologies at UK Research and Innovation, and Sir Peter Knight, Chair of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQTP) Strategic Advisory Board, give a great overview of the advances that the UK is making in Quantum Technologies, through the UKNQTP.

Firstly, Ilana gave a ten-minute presentation answering the key question ‘What is Quantum?’. During her talk, Ilana took the audience through the history of quantum and key concepts such as superposition, entanglement and uncertainty, before touching upon how these concepts are being harnessed to develop a plethora of quantum technologies spanning: quantum computing and simulation; quantum communications; and quantum metrology, sensing and timing.

Roger McKinlay then gave an overview of the UKNQTP including its structure and a breakdown of the funding it has been awarded, before highlighting a number of the collaborative projects it has funded to commercialise cutting edge quantum technologies. Roger spoke about the Pioneer Gravity project, for example, which is working to deliver a quantum gravimeter to help us to better understand what lies beneath the ground, he also discussed a project which is developing novel quantum imaging systems which will be applied to autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars.

Following this, Sir Peter Knight gave insight into the challenges and opportunities facing quantum technologies. During his talk, Sir Peter outlined how the UK compares to other countries in terms of the investment made into quantum technologies, before giving deeper insight into some of the applications of the quantum technologies that the UK is developing. Sir Peter also discussed the timeline for Quantum Computing and gave an overview of the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre, before concluding with the opportunities, strengths and threats surrounding quantum technologies.

A Q&A session then took place where members of the audience were able to ask the speakers questions on the UKNQTP and quantum technologies in general. There were some very interesting questions asked, including questions surrounding the world quantum landscape, education and funding, to name just a few.

You can watch a recording of the webinar below.