Europe has been awarded a prestigious Institute of Physics Award for Business Innovation. This recognises Toshiba’s pioneering Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology developed over two decades of research, protecting communication infrastructure from present and future cyber-threats, and commercialising UK-manufactured products which pave the road to the quantum internet. The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. With a rich history of supporting business innovation and growth, it is committed to working with ‘physics-based’ businesses, and companies that apply and employ physics and physicists.
Toshiba’s technology, known as QKD, integrates years of R&D into a compact product that can be seamlessly integrated into existing communication infrastructures to provide quantum-secured communication. This has already been deployed in networks around the world, protecting medical data moving between hospitals, sensitive IP between manufacturing sites, and even to secure government communications.
has been at the frontier of research in quantum information and its applications for over two decades, particularly the development of quantum communications and cryptography. By harnessing the unique behaviour of quantum light, Toshiba has demonstrated long-distance, high-bit-rate communications where security is guaranteed by the laws of nature. This approach is a paradigm shift from current communication security, which relies on assumptions about the limited computational resources of an attacker.
Such advances pave the way to the “quantum internet” which will not only redefine secure communications but also create a cloud of networked quantum computers for massively parallel information processing. Toshiba’s innovations also benefit UK plc as the devices are manufactured wholly within its Cambridge facility, stimulating high-value job creation and the growth of a UK quantum ecosystem.
Toshiba has successfully commercialised quantum cryptography, leveraging decades of pioneering research in quantum information to develop new technologies and products, already being deployed around the world.
Just as digital electronics transformed societies and economies over the last century, a new wave of technologies exploiting the curious properties of quantum physics is poised to unleash new opportunities and global benefits.
The IOP’s prestigious Business Awards are unique in the UK and Ireland in recognising the significant contribution that physicists and physics make in industry.
There are three categories of awards – Business Innovation, Business Start-Up and the Lee Lucas Award (for the medical and healthcare sector) – so businesses at any stage of their development are eligible; from start-ups to multi-national corporations.
The IOP Business Innovation Award specifically recognises and celebrates companies that have excelled in innovation, delivering significant economic and/or societal impact through the application of physics.
Institute of Physics Deputy Chief Executive, Rachel Youngman, said: “The IOP Business Awards recognise and reward the achievements of physics-based businesses at all stages and of all sizes. Whether well-established or a start-up, an SME or corporation, these innovative companies are making significant contributions to the UK and Ireland’s scientific research and development, driving innovation and supporting the economy.
“All of this year’s winners have creatively applied physics to bring about positive change to individuals, societies or economies, by tackling a new problem or improving on a previous solution, and all are thoroughly deserving of an IOP Business Award.
“Recent events have underlined the absolute necessity to encourage and reward our scientists. We rely on their dedication and innovation for our lifestyles, wellbeing and safety.”
Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths support Toshiba’s continued evolution toward becoming an Infrastructure Services Company that promotes data utilization and digitization, and one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-systems technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 130,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales surpassing 3.4 trillion yen (US$31.1 billion) in fiscal year 2019.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. It seeks to raise public awareness and understanding of physics, inspire people to develop their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of physics and support the development of a diverse and inclusive physics community. As a charity, it has a mission to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society.
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