Quantum Photonics group scoops prestigious innovation award
Press release issued: 12 November 2008
The development of silicon chips for optical quantum technologies has won a global award for innovation in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) annual Innovation Engineering Awards.
The team at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Quantum Photonics, led by Professor Jeremy O’Brien and including Alberto Politi, Dr Martin Cryan, Professor John Rarity and Dr Siyuan Yu, was named 2008 winner of the Emerging Technologies Award at a ceremony in London last week [3 November].
The Innovation Awards span 15 categories and attracted hundreds of entries from around the world. It is a unique opportunity for industry innovators to showcase their brightest ideas and highlights the importance of innovation by celebrating its application across a range of engineering disciplines.
Professor O’Brien said: “We are delighted to receive this award. Quantum information science has shown that quantum mechanical effects can dramatically improve performance for certain tasks in communication, computation and measurement. However, realising such quantum technologies is an immense challenge, owing to the difficulty in controlling quantum systems and their inherent fragility.”
The group have demonstrated a controlled-NOT gate from silica wave-guides on a silicon chip, resulting in a miniaturised device and high-performance operation.
Their results show that it is possible to directly ``write" sophisticated photonic quantum circuits onto a silicon chip that perform at the levels required for future quantum technologies based on photons, including information processing, communication, metrology and lithography.
IET Chief Executive, Robin McGill, said, “I would like to congratulate all the winning and shortlisted entries in this year’s Innovation Awards, which demonstrate genuine novelty and represent a significant technological advance for the industry.
“The entries which made it to the shortlist are a very impressive role call of innovation and although it may be a cliché to say “everyone is a winner,” in this case I am sure it is true. The awards highlight the depth and breadth of innovative work which is being carried out and it and it is clear from the range of entries that innovation is alive and well.
“The work undertaken on the projects highlighted by the Innovation Awards will help businesses grow and develop and have a positive impact in many areas.”
Professor O'Brien's work was the subject of the cover story in the May issue of Science magazine.
A press release entitled ' Silicon chips for optical quantum technologies' was issued on 27 March 2008.
Further informationThe winners were:
Asset Management Award - Three Valleys Water for optimising capital maintenance planning.
Built Environment Award - Test Marshal for automated testing of fixed wiring.
Electronics Award - Algotronix Ltd for DesignTAG.
Emerging Technologies Award - University of Bristol for Integrated Quantum Photonics.
Information Technology Award - United Nations Foundation & Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership for Mobile health (Mhealth).
Measurement in Action Award - LiteThru Ltd for novel technology for rapid non-invasive assay in production monitoring.
Power/Energy Award - Oxsensis for Wave-Phire.
Product Design Award - Liquid Lever Solutions Ltd for liquid lever moisture-activiated irrigation valve.
Project team Award - Integrated Alliance - Collaborative Engineering Design and Delivery.
Security Award - Kromek for the use of selective x-ray detectors for accurate threat materials identification in security applications.
Software in Design Award - Sundance DSP Inc for generating parallel applications automatically from simulation models.
Start-Up Award - Air Semiconductor.
Sustainability Award - Liquid Lever Solutions Ltd for liquid lever moisture-activiated irrigation valve.
Telecommunications Award – Sagentia for M-PESA.
Transport Award - Kromek for the use of selective x-ray detectors for accurate threat materials identification in security applications.
The IET Innovation Awards 2008 are generously sponsored by: ABB, Accenture, Amplicon, BT, Cre8Ventures, Halcrow Yolles, National Grid, The MathWorks, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), RS Components, Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd (STDL), Withers & Rogers LLP and Nortel Networks. The awards are supported by the Department of Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS).
1. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a world leading professional organisation, sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world.
2. The IET dates from 1871 and has 150,000 members in 127 countries with offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
3. The IET licenses EngTech, IEng and CEng; is supporting the Engineering Diploma and developing the new ICTtech and accredits more than 160 undergraduate courses in the UK.
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5. The IET celebrates 100 years at its London home, Savoy Place, in June 2009 and will be staging a programme of centenary celebrations