Quantum technology is going to change computing, sensing and communication forever.

It promises to change the world. But we’d add a crucial Cambridge Consultants caveat to that. Quantum technology won’t transform everything. In fact, there are plenty of applications for which it will be no use at all.

For quantum technology to achieve the transformational benefits it promises, it needs to be applied in just the right places in just the right way. We can help by bringing clarity to the perplexing world of qubits, quantum circuits, quantum cloud computing, quantized energy levels, quantum algorithms and much more. Identifying the near, mid- and long-term commercial applications of quantum computing, sensing and communication will be a key consideration for many businesses.

Quantum technology is heralding a fundamental transformation of business and society. By manipulating the world at microscopic level, it will (in the right places) deliver results that simply can’t be matched by any other technology.

So, the most important question about quantum technology is this one. How will it change your world?
  • Quantum computing is built on the principle of quantum superposition. While in classical computing each bit is set to either zero or one, each qubit of a quantum computer can be set to a mixture of zero and one.

    What is a qubit?

    A qubit, or quantum bit, refers to the basic unit of information and also the physical object that stores the information. Unlike a classical bit, the fact that each qubit of a quantum computer can be set to zero and one at the same time is counterintuitive. But it is true, and it opens up radically quicker approaches to computation that requires complex processing of information. Potential quantum computing applications include artificial intelligence (AI), better batteries, drug development, cyber security and materials discovery.

    But quantum computers work very differently to classical computers. They need new development tools, ways of loading data, of running algorithms. Realising the benefits of quantum computing in business will not be simple.

  • Quantum communication will transform information security. Existing information security is based on the transmission of encrypted messages that can only be read by someone who has the right key to decrypt the message into plaintext. Getting the key to the message recipient without anyone else intercepting it has long been a core challenge in information security. Quantum communication, through the process of quantum key distribution (QKD), allows for information security that is guaranteed.

    How does QKD work?

    At the quantum scale, the act of observation changes the state of whatever is being observed. So, if a hacker intercepted a quantum key, that key would change and it would be obvious to the sender and recipient that it had been compromised. Security is guaranteed by the physics and, in principle at least, quantum-resistant communication is possible.

    But putting the physics to work is hard. The absolute security guarantee available in principle isn’t easy to realise in practice. QKD over short distances is relatively straightforward. But QKD at the scale needed in practical information systems is much tougher and developing the quantum hardware to enable it is a challenge.
  • The transformative promise of quantum computing comes with a significant challenge. The seismic technology shift will render a good part of current cryptographic standards meaningless. Specifically, that means the key establishment mechanisms and authentication methods that have a sizable impact on our current security ecosystem.

    So how do we future proof systems and embed post-quantum cryptography (PQC) into a new generation of innovation? Solutions can be found in post-quantum cryptography, an important new technology which is the topic of heavy research. Its premise is to write algorithms capable of running on classical hardware that are secure against the computations possible in quantum computers.
  • Quantum sensing will transform what can be measured. By exploiting sub-atomic behaviour, quantum sensing offers, in principle, a level of performance that could be ten, a hundred or even a thousand times better than what is commercially available. Imagine a radar, lidar, gravimeter or magnetometer that’s a thousand times more sensitive than anything you could buy today. Many new applications in medical technology, manufacturing, energy and navigation are immediately opened up.

    But enabling these quantum sensing applications requires a level of performance that is difficult to achieve. Making sure that the signal from a quantum sensor can be distinguished from environmental noise is a key challenge. Taking a quantum sensor from the laboratory bench and into the real world needs a combination of quantum understanding and engineering realism.
Making quantum technology happen

Making quantum technology happen

CC’s scientists and engineers are researching practical applications of quantum technology within our own purpose-built labs, pushing boundaries beyond conventional, classical approaches.

We are determined to dispel the mystery of quantum and help to redefine the state of the art. CC is a place where the unusual physics of quantum mechanics meets practical engineering and technology development. And where a future currently thought to be impossible starts to become possible.

Quantum technology is seriously demanding. Fundamental particles are manipulated using high performance control systems while isolated from the surrounding environment – a challenging task to replicate outside the lab in robust, practical, cost-effective systems. Whole new development approaches are required to specify, develop and test quantum systems.

But perhaps the biggest hurdle is that the weird physics can feel utterly alien. Quantum phenomena are counterintuitive to anything else in science or engineering. A new wave of experts, with deep insight into physics, computer science and material science, is rising to the challenge. Quantum is happening.

CC has a deep understanding of quantum technology and knows what it will take to mature a laboratory demonstration into real-world impact. This knowledge continues to grow through hard-won practical experience in our own laboratories and through the work we do for our clients.

Download our exclusive report Quantum technology needs Deep [tech] Thinking and discover how our approach to deep tech unlocks defensible long-term value from new-to-the-world innovation.

How we help clients

  • Opening new markets - how will quantum change my business?
    • If you have an existing quantum solution, we can help you understand how it could be adapted and applied profitably in other markets.
    • We can advise you on if, how and when quantum might affect your market and what you should do about it.
  • Cutting through the hype - is this really a revolution for me?
    • We can help you understand the feasibility and value of quantum solutions. There are a lot of extraordinary claims – some are real, some are not. Our quantum technology experts can help identify whether these claims are real.
  • Making quantum happen faster - how can I use current technology most efficiently to achieve quantum advantage sooner?
    • We can help tailor quantum solutions to your problems, finding the right requirements for your quantum system in the context of your challenge.
  • Building quantum systems - how do I build integrated quantum solutions that will work (and which people will want to use)?
    • Our understanding of cutting-edge deep tech and history of developing disruptive and highly innovative technologies can help you with your core quantum technologies or with the supporting component technologies to create full quantum solutions.

Martin Brock

Chief Technology Officer

Bill Hodson

Consulting Director

Edmund Owen

Principal Quantum Physicist

James Cruise

Associate Director, Quantum Algorithms

Jo Petrolati

Quantum Strategy Consultant

Simon Jordan

Head of Industrial Sensing

Heidi Pinkney

Principal Quantum Strategy Consultant

Logan Baber

Senior Test Engineer, Quantum Communications

Sam Pumphrey

Head of Digital Security

Contact our quantum experts

Our insights

Quantum computing adoption – it’s time to seize the initiative

Quantum computing adoption – it’s time to seize the initiative

18th Jul 2023

Quantum technology commercial adoption will be gradual – but that doesn’t mean ambitious business leaders should adopt a wait and see approach. In this video interview with Chris Bruce of Cambridge Tech Week, quantum algorithm expert James Cruise outlines his vision for quantum technology, and specifically quantum computing…

  • AI & Data Analytics consultancy
Quantum cloud computing

Quantum cloud computing plus digital service innovation will equal commercial advantage

1st Mar 2023

What is quantum computing? That’s a question still being asked by much of the world’s C-suite. But here at CC our multidisciplinary teams of physicists, engineers and designers are already helping to plot a credible pathway for a future powered by quantum technologies…

  • Cloud/scalable systems
  • Digital service innovation
  • Innovation management
  • Strategic advice
Quantum for pharma

Quantum computing for pharma and life sciences – opportunities are on the horizon

21st Feb 2023

What can quantum computing and quantum technology do for the pharma and life sciences industry? After reviewing the latest signs of quantum innovation in practice across Europe, Elizabeth Thomas has conferred with Cambridge Consultants’ quantum experts and now shares her insights into how organisations can start implementing an action plan… 

  • AI & Data Analytics consultancy
  • Physical sciences
  • Strategic advice
  • Synthetic biology
Trusting autonomy and ensuring quantum resilience

Trusting autonomy and ensuring quantum resilience for government as security threats emerge

28th Mar 2023

Potential quantum attacks on government agencies and the military are part and parcel of the changing security landscape. In turn, government organizations are exploring the use of quantum for defense security, as well as the efficiencies of future states that these technologies will enable for mission-critical operations.

  • Innovation management
  • Product realisation
  • Project management
  • Strategic advice