UK looks to enhance collaboration with Taiwan in quantum research

Judy Lin, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

John Dennis, Rep. of the British Office Taipei (5th from left); Ching Ray Chang (4th from left)

In the Quantum Communication Technology and Application Forum hosted by the Hon Hai Research Institute on December 12 in Taipei at a venue on the National Taiwan University campus, John Dennis, Representative of the British Office Taipei expressed the aspiration of facilitating more collaborations with Taiwan in the quantum computing and communication space.

UK companies such as Oxford Instruments, are now working with the Taiwanese industry as instrument providers as well as participants in collaborative research with Taiwanese industries or research agencies such as the Industrial and Technology Research Institute (ITRI), according to Dennis.

"We always welcome potential partners in the field and we have had the pleasure of nurturing a mutually beneficial bond with Taiwan in science and technology, " said Dennis. "With the lifting now of COVID-related travel restrictions, we are welcoming more and more delegations from the UK, which will also open up opportunities to deepen exchanges between the UK and Taiwan in this space."

The development of quantum technologies is rapidly accelerating, and the UK is keen to remain at the forefront, said Dennis, who disclosed that the UK has invested over a billion pounds in the sector in the last eight years, and has seen over 40 quantum-related startups in the UK, raising more than 135 million pounds in venture capital investments so far.

The UK government also has funded multiple ventures through the National quantum technologies program since 2014, to create dynamic collaborations between industry, academia, and government. The program's approach to commercializing quantum technologies is based around four hubs: with the University of York, leading in quantum communications, the University of Birmingham, leading in sensors and timing, the University of Glasgow leading enhanced Imaging, and the University of Oxford leading quantum computing studies. The four hubs bring together experts from universities, national laboratories, and industry partners to see the proposed developments.

"We see these hubs as engines to drive quantum research and applications. Their mission is to weave the science of quantum technologies with ideas for commercialization and deliver a route to market," said Dennis.

Oxford Instruments has set up an office at the Hsinchu Science Park and have collaborations with ITRI in semiconductor processing technologies and also in quantum computing.

Ching Ray Chang, the Taiwan Association of Quantum Computing and Information Technology (TAQCIT) president, also a distinguished professor of the Department of Physics at the National Taiwan University, said the collaboration between Taiwan and countries with advanced quantum technology capabilities at this stage is urgently needed, especially in the form of cultivating Taiwanese talent in their research hubs, in order to build a sufficient talent pool for developing a quantum ecosystem which consists of hardware, networking and quantum key distribution (QKD) layers of industry commercialization.

Taiwan has just started its National Quantum Projects in 2022, said Chang, lagging behind many countries by 5-10 years. Chang regards 2018 the starting year for the second Quantum Revolution, which is based on quantum entanglement. The United State passed the National Quantum Initiative Act in December 2018. The European Union also launched the Quantum Flagship Projects also in December 2018. And Japan also started its Quantum Leap Program in 2018.

Chang said quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensor together, will form the Super Internet called "Quantum Internet" in the future. "Only with the success of the quantum technology, or the maturity of quantum internet, can we have the metaverse to be loaded on this future technology," said Chang.