Scotland

Key role for universities in science hubs

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One of four new science hubs worth almost £30m each is to be based in Glasgow.

The Quantum Imaging Hub combines six universities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde with industry partners.

Projects include developing cameras that can see through smoke or detect objects around corners.

The four hubs are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Professor Miles Padgett of the University of Glasgow said: "The hub's vision is to work in partnership with industry to translate our world-leading discovery science into revolutionary imaging systems that will benefit the UK economy across commercial, scientific and security sectors."

One University of Glasgow-led project uses cheap, simple single-pixel sensors to build sophisticated ultraviolet or infrared video images much more affordably and conveniently than has been possible before.

The sensors could be used in applications such as visualising gas leaks, seeing clearly through smoke, or looking under skin for tumours.

A second project will use springs ten times thinner than a human hair to image minute changes in gravity fields.

'World class research'

The work will enable a range of applications, including finding landmines, tracking magma moving under volcanoes and monitoring oil reserves to maximise extraction.

A new camera development led by Heriot-Watt University, uses highly advanced photon-timing techniques to recognise objects around corners, as well as images through walls or opaque biological tissue.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, which is involved all four UK hubs, said: "As a leading international technological university, we are making significant investments to ensure our world-class research contributes to discoveries in frontier science.

"To be the only UK university with direct involvement in all four of these innovative hubs is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the wealth of expertise we have in the field of quantum technology.

"We look forward to working closely with our partners in academia and industry, to ensure that Scotland and the UK remain at the forefront of developments in quantum science."

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