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Secretary of State visit to NPL's Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratories

The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology visits the National Physical Laboratory’s (NPL) Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratories

3 minute read

NPL's Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratories will drive the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK.

The visit follows the National Quantum Strategy, published last week, which sets out the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s (DSIT) new ten-year commitment to quantum technologies in the UK, including more than doubling the government’s investment into quantum to £2.5 billion over the next 10 years. Highlighted in the strategy, the quantum laboratories at NPL will support the growing quantum sector to ensure the UK is at the international forefront of this critical technology.

The laboratories are a world-class infrastructure which will enable and drive the development of new products based on quantum technologies.

Companies developing quantum technology products that rely on time and frequency signals will be able to use the laboratories to test and evaluate their products – from laser linewidths to entire atomic clocks – and UK universities will be able to advance their research capabilities with the ability to carry out clock comparisons for fundamental physics or precision spectroscopy with traceability to the SI second.

Green SI bot AmpereThe laboratories, and NPL’s existing work in quantum, enables the harnessing of quantum effects to deliver increased information processing power, secure communications, high-precision navigation and earlier diagnosis of diseases.

During the visit, the Secretary of State met with apprentices to discuss the work they are currently conducting as part of their apprenticeship and heard about the skills they are learning whilst undertaking work within the laboratories.

Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said “Quantum technologies are a game-changer for the UK. Investing in this cutting-edge technology, as well as state-of-the-art facilities like the Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratories, will help lead to ground-breaking discoveries in science, healthcare and beyond.

“Through our National Quantum Strategy, we have more than doubled our investment in quantum to £2.5bn over the next 10 years. This will ensure the UK’s lead in quantum translates through to a thriving, world-leading quantum industry that creates high-quality jobs, drives growth and ultimately ensures we can improve everyday lives.”

Dr Peter Thompson, FREng, CEO of NPL said “The UK is ideally placed to emerge as a global leader in quantum technologies. Our new state of the art Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratories takes us a step closer to realising this vision, satisfying a need for robust testing in quantum that will play a vital role for exciting new products in this area. Our laboratories will bring quantum innovation to life, utilising the science and technology capability of NPL to create impact in new ways, not only enabling us to develop and showcase the latest advancements in quantum technologies, but also offering a world leading space for us to collaborate with academic partners and industry. This will bring new skills to the sector and aid in new breakthroughs, which will support jobs and the economy in the UK.”



24 Mar 2023