Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, visits NQIT Hub
Mr Johnson was shown laboratory and workshop facilities, and met doctoral students, in the University's Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Hub and Mobile Robotics Group.
The NQIT Directors spoke with Mr Johnson about the UK National Quantum Technology Programme and why quantum technology is such an exciting area for research and technology development. He then was given a tour of our NQIT lab in the Physics Department where Vera Schafer, a doctoral student, and Dr Ben Metcalf, a post-doctoral researcher, explained how their research into ion traps and photonics provide the core hardware for NQIT's Q20:20 quantum computer.
During his visit, Mr Johnson announced new Government funding to support DPhil students in engineering and physical sciences, as well as significant funding geared towards boosting the UK's research into quantum technologies. This funding is a national investment in science totalling £204 million – £167 million for Doctoral Training Partnerships involving 40 universities and £37 million as part of the UK's National Quantum Technologies Programme.
Mr Johnson said: 'We are committed to securing the UK's position as a world leader in science and innovation. The Government is ensuring major new discoveries happen here, such as the creation of super-powerful quantum computers which scientists are working on in Oxford. This new funding builds on our protection for science spending by supporting research in our world-leading universities and helping to train the science leaders of tomorrow.'
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: 'Quantum technologies promise to revolutionise the way we live our lives. At Oxford we stand at the forefront of this revolution through our world-class research and training programmes. It is a pleasure to welcome the Minister to Oxford to announce support for this key research area, as well as significant funding for doctoral places in engineering and physical sciences that will help us continue to train the leading scientists of the future.'
Professor Ian Walmsley, Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics, NQIT Hub Director, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of Oxford, said: 'Quantum technologies will deliver novel sensors, secure communications and advanced computing that are impossible with conventional technologies. This radical reconnection of the information processing landscape will also deliver benefits to society, and to the UK economy, through highly skilled and knowledgeable graduate students who work at the cutting edge of the field and are able to translate quantum science into applications through new technologies.'
Read more about Jo Johnson's visit to Oxford:
- University of Oxford News website: Oxford awarded £13.5m for DPhil places and further funding for quantum research
- Oxford Mail: Oxford could be at the forefront of British science thanks to huge boost in funding from the government
All photos are by John Cairns.