KETS’ Quantum Security in Bristol has been named the UK’s Most Innovative Small Cyber Security Company of the Year.

The startup uses pioneering photonics technology developed at the University of Bristol to provide future-proof, cost-effective technologies for quantum-secured communications. The award followed a nationwide competition supported by the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“Being recognised as the UK’s most innovative small cybersecurity company among such strong competition is a real honour and testament to all the hard work that our team has put into KETS,” said Jake Kennard, Co-founder and Head of Technical Sales at the company.

By 2021, it is estimated that there will be 46 billion connected devices, and by 2020, it is thought that a quarter the global payments market (US$21 trillion) will have moved online. However, the increase in the world’s digital capacity has been accompanied in recent years with a rise in cybercrime, making communications security an urgent concern for businesses around the world.

With a combined 40 years’ sector experience, the KETS team has developed a hardware solution that exploits the sensitive nature of single particles of light to detect eavesdroppers. This, in turn, has shaped the development of ultra-secure encryption keys with an unlimited lifetime.

The firm’s products use existing semiconductor fabrication as the basis of a miniaturised platform that is fast, scalable, efficient to manufacture and can be integrated with existing electronics.

“We envisage our products to have applications in a wide variety of sectors including defence, telecoms, and critical infrastructure; with end-users from finance, government, and data centres management benefiting from our enhanced security solutions,” said Dr Philip Sibson, co-founder and CTO of KETS, and a Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre Fellow and Research Associate at Bristol University’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (pictured above with the world’s first quantum photonic encryption chip.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, congratulated the team for “a tremendous achievement”, adding: “Quantum information and its translation into technologies is a strategic research priority for the University and recognised as a Specialist Research Institute.  The University has successfully created new businesses by taking ground-breaking science out of the lab to be used in real-world applications. KETS is a leading example of how well the system of innovation in Bristol is working. This award is another example of the excellent research and enterprise activities performed here.”
The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre in Bristol takes in entrepreneurs every year to develop new quantum startups.