Our partners

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive learning and working environment where discrimination is not tolerated and where all members can flourish and reach their full potential.

University of Birmingham leads the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing. It is one of four Hubs within the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, alongside the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging (University of Glasgow); Quantum Computing & Simulation Hub (University of Oxford) and Quantum Communications Hub (University of York).

The Hub brings together experts from Physics and Engineering from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Imperial, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, NPL, the British Geological Survey and over 70 industry partners. The Hub has over 100 projects, valued at approximately £100 million, and has 17 patent applications.

The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme is delivered by UK Research and Innovation, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company. We provide some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employ a skilled workforce of some 87,800 people in over 40 countries. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, including the development, delivery and support of military air platforms, naval surface vessels and submarines.

In 2019 BAE Systems reported sales of £20,109M. The BAE Systems Air Sector has an unrivalled track record and expertise in the development, delivery and support of military air platforms, components and technologies through Typhoon, F-35 Lightning II, Tornado and Hawk.

Air Sector has the capability to provide customers with information superiority through the delivery of actionable intelligence and information, together with the provision of innovative information systems and services. This business unit also houses the core capabilities in technology research and concept development which are critical to the success of Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) programmes in the UK such as TEMPEST. Air Sector also partners with other organisations to exploit the Intellectual Property developed in previous research and development programmes, creating value and building relationships. The BAE Systems Air Sector also includes our BAE Systems Australia subsidiary which provides capabilities in the Air, Land and Maritime domains. The design of modern aircraft including combat aircraft is becoming increasingly dependent upon their sensing and communications capabilities.

The importance of the position, navigation and timing (PNT) capability of aircraft is growing due to the increased need for multi-platform collaborative activities and the growing threat of GNSS denial. Understandably, the quantum technologies being developed by the University of Birmingham are of great interest to us. Knowing when technology advances will be matured to a level to be exploited is important, and working to develop robust systems that can deal with the challenges of the defence and security domain is vital to BAE Systems achieving its vision.

We are in particular interested in trial and validation activities around navigation and the advanced detection technologies for the underground and air. We also see INSTAQT as an opportunity to attract the world’s best talent for our growing quantum sensor and timing activities and to deepen our relevant collaborative activities with Australian institutions. We are happy to provide our expertise in navigation, radar and advanced sensing during workshops.

British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a world-leading geological survey. It focuses on public-good science for government, and research to understand earth and environmental processes. It is the UK’s premier provider of objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge to help society to use its natural resources responsibly, manage environmental change, and be resilient to environmental hazards. The BGS provides expert services and impartial advice in all areas of geoscience. Our client base is drawn from the public and private sectors both in the UK and internationally.

The BGS has a long track record of developing and applying geophysical methods for a range of socially, economically and environmentally important applications. We are currently developing, through a £31 million NERC infrastructure research grant, two world-class subsurface energy-research test centres, in Cheshire and Glasgow, through the BGS UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) project along with contributing to the GeoEnergy Test Bed (GTB) project. We operate the Space Geodesy Facility at Herstmonceux that uses multiple observational techniques, including absolute gravimetry, to support global geodetic and geophysical science, and geomagnetic observatories at Eskdalemuir and Hartland to develop our understanding of global magnetic activity, space weather and provide products and services to industry and to academic colleagues.

We will provide a platform for cross-disciplinary scientific exchange in geoscience applications of quantum sensors. It will link UK researchers to the best international talent, provide access to real-world test and validation facilities and promote the careers of early stage researchers. INSTA-QT will support the development of cross-disciplinary international research infrastructures and make their data available for applied research communities. By working within the Hub, results from BGS field and laboratory observatories can provide immediate feedback and long-term calibration to help steer sensor development, and improve sensitivity, stability, SWAP, and modes of operation during the development cycle. The trials will be validated against known geological information, ground truth, other geophysical or geoscientific data, and equivalent classical sensors. This support contributes to the ongoing and long-term relationship that the BGS has with the UK quantum technologies sector, from the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre to both phases of the Quantum Hub for Sensors & Timing.

Federal Standards Laboratory PTB

The PTB is the National Metrology Institute of Germany with scientific and technical service tasks. PTB measures with the highest accuracy and reliability – metrology as the core competence. PTB operates a Core Facility called ”Metrology for Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields”. It welcomes national and international researchers to fulfil their aims

The INSTA QT partnership project combines our existing expertise in an ideal way and will pave the way for successful acquisition of third-party funding on the European level and beyond. To foster this cooperation, PTB will support the partnership by providing access to optically-pumped magnetometers (OPM) and our shielded-rooms that – based on their specifications and standards – are unique in the world.

We are in particular interested in collaborative work on electric vehicle battery development, safety and operational diagnostics. We hope to contribute to the development in this area predominantly by providing reference measurement environments. We also see INSTA-QT as an opportunity to attract the world’s best talent for our growing quantum sensor and timing activities. We would like to support the application by providing our expertise in quantum magnetic sensing with ultrahigh sensitivity during workshops.


The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) is a public research institution responsible for emergeny both nationwide and at local and regional level. We bring together research bodies already operating in the area of the seismic and volcanic surveillance through the installation and the management of monitoring networks, technologically advanced, in order to monitor the entire national territory and the Mediterranean basin.

Under the NEWTON-g EU funded project and the UK’s National Quantum technology programme we are deploying an extended array (an imager) of newly developed continously acquiring MEMS gravity sensors (pixels), which will provide dataa with a space and time resolution not achievable with currenlty avalable gravimeters, mainly due to their high cost.

As part of the INSTA QT project we will continue our collaboraiton with University of Glasgow on testing and verification of the new generation of MEMS gravity sensors to further develop and refine the gravity the gravity sensors to better understand the long term performance on the volcano, and how best to synthesise data from absolute cold atom gravimeters and MEMs devices.

We will provide support to the INSTA QT partners in order to maintain the gravimeter network and allow the possiblity of new deployment sites.

INGV-OE has a decades-long expereince in  the application of gravimetry to increase our understanding on how volcanoes work. We are heavily enagaged in research on the interpretation of gravity time series from the Mount Etna and we fully understand the potential fo this new sensing technology. We are happy to provide our expertise in colcano gravimetry.


Kinemetrics, located in Pasadena, California, is the global market leader in designing technologies, products, and solutions for monitoring earthquakes and their effects on people and structures. Many of our products are the de facto world’s standards, to which other products are compared.

We are pleased to be part of the International Network on Quantum Sensing and Timing Applications, and in particular its activities in gravity sensing which would be complimentary to our existing expertise in seismic sensing.

It is very important to us to be a partner of INSTA QT in order to broaden our existing and long‐term partnership with UK researchers in this area, and to provide context of technology gaps in geophysical sensing that prevent us offering solutions to our current and future customer base.

In this area, we are particularly interested in hybrid approaches between classical and quantum sensing that would allow earlier market penetration.


Q-CTRL is an Australian-headquartered quantum technology company focused on the application of quantum control to a variety of markets. We produce infrastructure software which improves the performance of hardware by providing stability against environmental perturbation and enabling autonomous operation. Q-CTRL also maintains an active effort in the development of a new generation of “software-defined” quantum sensors for gravimetry and magnetometry in both terrestrial and space-based applications.

We are particularly interested in research exchange with UK teams (aligned with the new AUKUS agreement framework) and participation in workshops helping identify key quantum-sensor use case in hydrology. We also see INSTA-QT as an opportunity to attract the world’s best talent for our growing quantum sensor and timing activities.

We are happy to share our expertise during workshops, focused on the development of control solutions to improve platform noise rejection and AI tools that enable autonomous sensor operations.

Sydney Water

Sydney Water supplies water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services to more than five million people in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra. We have an ambitious vision from which we’ve designed our strategy: Creating a better life with world-class water services. As part of this strategy, we are keen to innovate and learn more about what Quantum Technologies can do to keep our water supply safe and maximise its efficiency.

We are particularly interested in the activities around the detection of underground water, both in terms of mitigating freshwater loss due to leakages as well as underground water flow in reservoir recharge processes after rainfalls. We are happy to provide our expertise in acoustic and gravity sensing during workshops and host visitors for trials of quantum sensors.

Furthermore, we would be happy to support NSSN and Sydney Nano in holding underground water detection workshops and research projects towards multi-sensor assessments within the framework of INSTA-QT.

University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt

The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt (FHWN) and its research subsidiary FOTEC has a long reaching record in bridging the gap between applied research and the commercially viable production of high-end devices covering topics from aerospace engineering (satellite propulsion), additive manufacturing (metal sintering) and semiconductor design (integrated MEMS devices based on the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes).

Recently the realisation of a mass producible integrated quantum technology device (CMOS based atom trap) was demonstrated, enabling a direct pathway to commercialisation of these devices.

We are particularly interested in the prospect of combining expertise on quantum mechanical fundamentals and sensing principals with commercially viable fabrication technologies used in the semiconductor to realize novel, robust and highly integrated devices.

We also see INSTA-QT as an opportunity to attract the world’s best talent for our growing quantum sensor and timing activities. We are happy to provide our expertise in analogue and digital design and layout of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) during in total three workshops (handling circuit design, CMOS layout, simulation, and verification techniques).

University of Nottingham

We are part of a major strategic venture with the University of Birmingham, and collaborated in establishing the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre (MUARC), building on a 2007 £9m EPSRC/HEFCE Science and Innovation (S&I) award. We offer exciting prospects for exploiting the quantum behaviour of cold atoms in high-precision navigation and Global Positioning Systems, gravity gradiometers for subterranean mapping and oil prospecting and in electric and magnetic field detectors that combine high sensitivity and spatial resolution.

Nottingham’s QT research has and will continue to provide new fundamental insights and opportunities in healthcare, geophysics, navigation, and the exploitation of precise timing.

UoN is at the forefront of real-world applications of QT enabled systems for healthcare. UoN QT research underpins the successful spinning out of Cerca Magnetics Ltd, which is manufacturing next generation Magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems based on novel QT magnetometers. Cerca has already, within its first year of operation, sold two systems to commercial customers. The UoN MEG program continues to develop this next generation QT enabled neuroimaging capability, with significant funding streams in place supporting a research program that aspires to pave the way for our next generation MEG capabilities to revolutionise the study, diagnosis, and treatment of neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental and mild Traumatic Brain Injury conditions. Specific QT sensor technologies that enable next generation neuroimaging and other real-world system applications are also the subject of several dedicated research areas within the QT portfolio here at UoN.

UoN is developing novel techniques supporting improved Optically Pumped Magnetometers (OPMs) and developing cold atom based interferometric rotation sensors. The network will also benefit from access to UoN developed QT enabling sub-system and component expertise. Our researcher also developed novel QT enabling capabilities including customisable high-performance low Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) active and hybrid magnetic shielding systems, additively manufactured (AM) vacuum systems and AM optical systems supporting cold atom and vapour-cell based QT systems.

INSTA-QT will enable members to easily access UoN world leading knowledge and expertise in QT. Additionally, members will be able, via appropriate mechanisms, to access trials data, scanners and facilities to support development of research skills, as wider program and collaboration development. UoN will also, where feasible and appropriate, seek to leverage its on-going collaborations with industrial partners working with QT applications to support the objectives of the INSTA-QT network. These partners include Cerca Magnetics Limited, QuSpin Ltd, Magnetic Shields Ltd, Added Scientific Ltd, Torr Scientific Ltd and Teledyne e2v.


Vexlum is a spin-off from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), Tampere University of Technology. We lead in the area of VECSEL technology. In particular, we have focused on developments concerning optoelectronics materials enabling VECSELs at new wavelengths, scalable manufacturing processes, and application specific systems engineering. Recent breakthroughs include the use of VECSELs for quantum technology applications. We capitalize on a comprehensive knowledge in epitaxy, optoelectronics processes, and laser systems. The technical expertise is complemented by proven entrepreneurial skills. Our laser technology platform addresses the needs emerging quantum technology applications. Several of our products are arelady in use by the partners on the INSTA-QT.

We are interested in understanding how our laser technology platrom can be further developed to better suit the needs of Sensor and Timing Applications with Quantum Technologiess. We are happy to provide our expertise in single-frequency VECSEL-based laser systems. We will also aim to provide laser demonstration systme for testing at partners’ sites.