Australian cyber-security firm wins global award

24 November 2015

A high-technology company started by physicists from The Australian National University (ANU) has won a major international award for its quantum cyber-security technology.

QuintessenceLabs was named one of the top emerging innovation companies by the global Security Innovation Network (SINET), which includes the US Department of Homeland Security and the Home Office in the United Kingdom.

QuintessenceLabs was formed as a commercial venture at ANU in 2008 by quantum physics graduates. The company continues close collaborations with the ANU Department of Quantum Science, and works closely with the banking and government sectors to help safeguard organisations from cyber attacks.

"The company is succeeding because they are maintaining close contact with researchers working on the cutting edge of quantum networks," said Professor Ping Koy Lam from the ANU Quantum Optics group.

The partnership is working towards a global quantum security network that is unbreakable.

"This recognition highlights the importance of quantum cyber security in addressing some of today's critical data security issues, and shielding against tomorrow's increasingly sophisticated threats," said QuintessenceLabs Founder and CEO Dr Vikram Sharma.

Since leaving their start-up premises at ANU in 2014, the company has attracted investment from Westpac and some high-wealth investors. It already has an office in the United States and has announced plans for further overseas expansion.

ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor of Innovation, Professor Mick Cardew-Hall, said QuintessenceLabs was an example of how universities can work to help build the industries of the future.

"QuintessenceLabs shows the practical, real-life and commercial benefits that can flow from high-level research and partnerships between universities and business," Professor Cardew-Hall said.

Dr Sharma said QuintessenceLabs has presented its latest technology at key SINET summits in Washington DC, and will present it in London in 2016.