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SPIE Quantum West to showcase sector's high-profile pioneers

02 Feb 2021

Conference on quantum technology, new for 2021, to include Peter Knight, Andrew Lord, Wilhelm Kaenders among its speakers.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has announced the program for its inaugural industry-focused SPIE Quantum West conference, between 6-11 March. Organized in partnership with the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), Quantum West will be held online during the SPIE Photonics West Digital Forum.

Attendance at Quantum West is free to all registered participants of SPIE Photonics West, but registration is required.

The four sessions will provide a wide range of opportunities to learn more about the role of photonics in the development of quantum technology as quantum moves from research and development to engineering products for the commercial marketplace, while building mainstream infrastructures and supply chains.

Speakers' topics include “Quantum Technology as an Enabler,” “Photonics' Roles in Superconducting Quantum Computing,” and “Building an Industry: Lessons Learned from a Half-Century of Growth in the Photonics Industry.”

Market report

The four-day event, co-hosted by QED-C Deputy Director Celia Merzbacher and ColdQuanta Executive Chairman and DRS Daylight Solutions Senior Vice President Tim Day, will also include a market report from the Boston Consulting Group.

The international slate of speakers includes Imperial College London's Peter Knight, who is also a member of the UK's Quantum Technology Strategic Advisory Board; Andrew Lord, who heads British Telecom's optical core, access, and quantum research; Google Product Manager Eric Ostby; Toptica's co-founder and CTO Wilhelm Kaenders; Kaitlin Moore, a research physicist and principal investigator with SRI International; and Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia, senior director of quantum architecture at PsiQuantum.

A panel discussion on the final day featuring Toptica's Mark Tolbert, IBM's Jason Orcutt, Anchored In's Anke Lohman, and Hamamatsu's Klea Dhimitri, and moderated by Tim Day, will explore the future of photonics and quantum (“2021 and Beyond”), the challenges of developing a new market, and how photonics will support that.

“We are delighted to partner with the QED-C in launching the first annual Quantum West event,” said SPIE Director of Industry Development Stephen Anderson. “As one of the few industry-oriented quantum technology events to focus on the role of optics and photonics in the emerging market for quantum-enabled devices, Quantum West will play a key role in showcasing the future of the quantum industry and the opportunities it presents for photonics technologies.”

“Optics and photonics are critical enabling technologies for many quantum-based applications, including for sensing, communications and computing,” noted QED-C's Merzbacher. “Quantum West will bring together the photonics and quantum communities to help build the ecosystem and supply chain for the emerging quantum industry.”

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) is an industry-driven consortium managed by SRI International and established in response to the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act. Membership includes more than 120 US companies from across the supply chain and more than 40 academic institutions and other stakeholders. The consortium seeks to enable and grow the quantum industry and associated supply chain.

To find out more about Quantum West and to register for the event, visit the SPIE Quantum West page.

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