PQA Consortium

Researchers in a quantum lab

PQA is a consortium of four Scottish universities led by the University of Glasgow. These four university partners have been at the forefront of photonics research for half a century. They form an integrated research base in photonics and quantum technologies of outstanding quality and volume, with over 110 academic staff and 350 research staff and students in the PQA space.

University of Glasgow


The University of Glasgow leads QuantIC, one of the four UK Quantum Technology Hubs, and is home to the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. There are about 70 photonics and quantum researchers at the University. Staff in the Schools of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, Computing Science and the James Watt School of Engineering all are involved in photonics and quantum and related technologies. Recent spin-out companies working with photonics and quantum include Kelvin Nanotechnology (KNT), Vector Photonics, II-V Epi, and Lynkeos Technology.

Professor Andy Harvey from the School of Physics and Astronomy is the Principal Investigator and Director of PQA. He is supported at Glasgow by Professor Stephen Sweeney from the James Watt School of Engineering and Keith Dingwall, Impact and Innovation Manager from the College of Science and Engineering.

University of Glasgow logo

Heriot-Watt University


Heriot-Watt University was awarded the 2021 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for Photonics and is ranked top in the UK for Physics research outputs. It leads the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics and is involved in the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub and QuantIC – The UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Imaging.

Co-Investigator Professor Derryck Reid is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair and spin-out co-founder, holding 10 patents in photonics technologies.

Heriot Watt University logo

University of St Andrews


The University of St Andrews has a long heritage of photonics research, innovation and training, with current strengths in photonic materials, bio- and nano-photonics, sensing and imaging. Around 40 research groups across the Schools of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine and Computer Science are involved in photonics and quantum technologies, including applications-driven research in the Centre of Biophotonics and Organic Semiconductor Centre; key facilities include cleanroom fabrication of metamaterials, OLEDs and solar cells. The University has a portfolio of over 300 licenced/assigned patents related to photonics; the St Andrews Innovation Eden Campus provides an interface with industry and an Entrepreneurship Centre for new ventures.

Professor Graham Turnbull is the St Andrews lead in the Photonics & Quantum Accelerator and is supported by Professor Andrea Di Falco, both from the School of Physics and Astronomy.

University of St Andrews logo

University of Strathclyde


The University of Strathclyde has established a position as a leading UK centre for photonics and quantum technology, covering activities from fundamental science to applied research. This supports wide-ranging and growing collaborations with UK industry and public sector organisations with the aim of developing and exploiting these technologies.

Strathclyde is the only university to have been a partner in all four EPSRC-funded Hubs within the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme in both phases. A range of high-profile projects have supplemented these activities, including the Innovate UK funding scheme, targeting early-stage technology development through collaborations between academic and commercial partners.

Professor Jennifer Hastie is Director of the Institute of Photonics and the co-director of the PQA. She is supported in this role by Professor Erling Riis of the Department of Physics as well as the PQA Technology Exploitation Director.

University of Strathclyde logo

Partner organisations

Our partner organisations are a range of civic partners from across the Scottish Central Belt, committed to growing the socio-economic impact of photonic and quantum technologies in Central Scotland.

Glasgow City Council logo
City of Edinburgh Council logo
West Lothian Council logo
Fife Council logo
Scottish Enterprise logo
Technology Scotland logo
Photonics Scotland logo
Censis logo
Glasgow Science Centre
OPTICA Formerly OSA logo
Fraunhofer CAP logo
SPIE logo
NPL National Physical Laboratory logo
Institute of Physics (IOP) logo