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16th June 2020

Alumnus’s quantum number generator spin-out company attracts government funding

An Oxford University spin-out company co-founded by Exeter College alumnus George Dunlop (2015, Mathematics and Statistics) has been awarded a share of £2.8 million of government funding. The company, Quantum Dice, is part of an interdisciplinary project focusing on the assurance of quantum random number generators.

Quantum Dice was founded in 2019 by George Dunlop and five other Oxford graduates who took part in, and won, the inaugural StEP Ignite programme, an Oxford University programme for student entrepreneurs. The company will commercialise a self-certifying quantum random number generator (QRNG) device which generates unbiased, true random numbers. The QRNG will be an integrated on-chip device which generates cryptographically secure random numbers allowing for use in a range of commercial applications.

It has now been announced that Quantum Dice will collaborate with academics and other companies in the quantum industry to develop reliable, truly random numbers, which will help to provide a vital part of the world’s cybersecurity infrastructure. The project will be led by the National Physical Laboratory and, as well as Quantum Dice, will include industry partners Cambridge Quantum Computing, Toshiba Europe Limited, KETS Quantum Security, ID Quantique and Nu Quantum. The project has been awarded £2.8 million from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

It is hoped that the project will ultimately be a vital step towards the mainstream use of quantum security. Dr Rhys Lewis, head of the National Physical Laboratory’s Quantum Metrology Institute, commented: ‘The aim of this project is to bring together NPL measurement expertise with industrial and academic partners to develop an authoritative assessment process for improved random number generators based on quantum effects. This is critical for creating a certification process which can provide confidence in the application of these new devices.’

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