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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering

Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: EP/S023607/1
Funded under: EPSRC Funder Contribution: 6,225,450 GBP
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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering

Description

Quantum Technologies (QT) are at a pivotal moment with major global efforts underway to translate quantum information science into new products that promise disruptive impact across a wide variety of sectors from communications, imaging, sensing, metrology, simulation, to computation and security. Our world-leading Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering will evolve to be a vital component of a thriving quantum UK ecosystem, training not just highly-skilled employees, but the CEOs and CTOs of the future QT companies that will define the field. Due to the excellence of its basic science, and through investment by the national QT programme, the UK has positioned itself at the forefront of global developments. There have been very recent major [billion-dollar] investments world-wide, notably in the US, China and Europe, both from government and leading technology companies. There has also been an explosion in the number of start-up companies in the area, both in the UK and internationally. Thus, competition in this field has increased dramatically. PhD trained experts are being recruited aggressively, by both large and small firms, signalling a rapidly growing need. The supply of globally competitive talent is perhaps the biggest challenge for the UK in maintaining its leading position in QT. The new CDT will address this challenge by providing a vital source of highly-trained scientists, engineers and innovators, thus making it possible to anchor an outstanding QT sector here, and therefore ensure that UK QT delivers long-term economic and societal benefits. Recognizing the nature of the skills need is vital: QT opportunities will be at the doctoral or postdoctoral level, largely in start-ups or small interdisciplinary teams in larger organizations. With our partners we have identified the key skills our graduates need, in addition to core technical skills: interdisciplinary teamwork, leadership in large and small groups, collaborative research, an entrepreneurial mind-set, agility of thought across diverse disciplines, and management of complex projects, including systems engineering. These factors show that a new type of graduate training is needed, far from the standard PhD model. A cohort-based approach is essential. In addition to lectures, there will be seminars, labs, research and peer-to-peer learning. There will be interdisciplinary and grand challenge team projects, co-created and co-delivered with industry partners, developing a variety of important team skills. Innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship activities will be embedded from day one. At all times, our programme will maximize the benefits of a cohort-based approach. In the past two years particularly, the QT landscape has transformed, and our proposed programme, with inputs from our partners, has been designed to reflect this. Our training and research programme has evolved and broadened from our highly successful current CDT to include the challenging interplay of noisy quantum hardware and new quantum software, applied to all three QT priorities: communications; computing & simulation; and sensing, imaging & metrology. Our programme will be founded on Bristol's outstanding activity in quantum information, computation and photonics, together with world-class expertise in science and engineering in areas surrounding this core. In addition, our programme will benefit from close links to Bristol's unique local innovation environment including the visionary Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre, a fellowship programme and Skills Hub run in partnership with Cranfield University's Bettany Centre in the School of Management, as well as internationally recognised incubators/accelerators SetSquared, EngineShed, UnitDX and the recently announced £43m Quantum Technology Innovation Centre. This will all be linked within Bristol's planned £300m Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, placing the CDT at the centre of a thriving quantum ecosystem.

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