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The Business Magazine March 2024
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Universities of Sussex and Bristol launch £24m centre to train quantum leaders

28 March 2024
The Business Magazine article image for: Universities of Sussex and Bristol launch £24m centre to train quantum leaders

The University of Sussex has partnered with the University of Bristol to launch a new government-backed Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in quantum technologies.

It’s one of 65 new CDTs announced earlier this month by science and technology secretary Michelle Donelan.

This one is set to receive a combined £24 million via the government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as well as industry and other public sector organisations.

That figure includes a support package of £11.6 million from project partners including the National Quantum Computing Centre and National Physical Laboratory, plus private investment from the likes of BT, Hewlett Packard and Oxford Instruments.

Read the March 2024 issue of The Business Magazine, including our feature on skills

It comes as part of wider work to support research in areas deemed by Westminster to be of national importance.

The new CDT at Sussex will be headed up by Professor Winfried Hensinger, director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies and co-founder and chair of Universal Quantum.

He said: “Quantum computing has the power to change the world for the better.

“But currently, the UK doesn’t have the necessary number of skilled professionals to help achieve the government’s ambition of being a world leader in this area.

“The establishment of this centre marks a significant step in addressing the shortage of skilled professionals in the quantum technology sector.

“The university will now offer the full life cycle of education in quantum technologies, from undergraduate up to postgraduate level, with a real focus on research, technology development and work with industry partners.

“Investing in top-tier training for students is a crucial foundation for nurturing the growth of quantum technology across the country.”

Read more - Sussex scientists create world first by connecting quantum microchips

The centre will be delivered by a leading team of academics from the universities of both Sussex and Bristol.

It’s set to provide an innovative four-year, fully-funded programme of training and research in quantum technologies for postgraduate students from September 2024.  

Students from both universities will be able to work ‘alongside’ each other through live lab feeds, and will be able to study quantum technology modules from both universities.

Science and technology secretary Michelle Donelan added:“As innovators across the world break new ground faster than ever, it’s vital that government, business and academia invests in ambitious UK talent, giving them the tools to pioneer new discoveries that benefit all our lives while creating new jobs and growing the economy. 

“By targeting critical technologies, we’re supporting world-class universities across the UK to build the skills base we need to unleash the potential of future tech and maintain our country’s reputation as a hub of cutting-edge research and development.” 

Last year, researchers from the University of Sussex collaborated with Universal Quantum on a major breakthrough, showing for the first time that quantum bits (qubits) can directly transfer between quantum computer microchips.

It’s hoped the new CDT will help foster more such groundbreaking research.

Applications for places on the quantum technology undergraduate degrees, starting in September 2024, are now open.

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Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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