Celebrating two innovators under 35

CQT's Robert Bedington and alumnus Nana Liu make MIT Technology Review's young innovators list for Asia Pacific
23 November 2018

Robert Bedington Robert Bedington is one of two scientists who've worked at CQT named by MIT Technology Review among their top ten Innovators Under 35 in Asia Pacific for 2019. Rob is pictured here at the announcement in Singapore on 21 November.

Two CQT researchers have been spotlighted by MIT Technology Review as 'Innovators Under 35' in the Asia Pacific region: they are CQT's Robert Bedington and CQT alumnus Nana Liu, who recently took up a faculty position in China. The researchers are among ten shortlisted from almost 200 nominees across Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Robert leads a team of quantum-satellite builders in the group of CQT Principal Investigator Alexander Ling. His background is in space technology. Before joining CQT, he worked at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. He is now working on SpooQy-1, a nanosatellite the CQT team will launch in 2019 to demonstrate quantum entanglement in space. The group has this year begun a collaboration with RAL Space in the UK that will lead to the next generation of satellites, for doing secure quantum communication between orbit and ground.

Seeing the commercial potential in this technology, Robert plans to move into a CQT spin-off in the year ahead. He will take up the position of Chief Technology Officer for S15 Space Systems, a startup that aims to build a constellation of satellites for quantum key distribution (QKD).

"QKD will clearly be very important in the future. It's good to see that people are recognising that. Our team at CQT is making great progress and I am looking forward to commercialising these technologies with S15 Space Systems," says Robert. He is currently a CQT Senior Research Fellow.

Nana was based in the Singapore University of Technology and Design with the group of CQT Principal Investigator Joseph Fitzsimons until September 2018 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research lies at the interface between quantum computing, security and machine learning, which will be useful in building a future quantum internet. She is now an Assistant Professor at the John Hopcroft Center for Computer Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Nana Liu Nana Liu made a virtual appearance at the 21 November awards event.

Both Robert and Nana will be speaking at the EmTechAsia conference to be held in Singapore 22-23 January 2019.

"I am extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity to learn from those currently driving efforts in emerging technologies. This opportunity would not have been possible without the support that CQT has provided to be around so many inspirational friends and colleagues. I feel very encouraged by the interest quantum technologies is generating, especially from more mainstream technologies that hope to be integrated with future innovations that make use of quantum resources," says Nana.

The finalists were announced at an event presented by EmTech Asia and SGInnovate, a company that fosters 'deep tech' in Singapore and is owned by the Singapore Government. “Innovators Under 35 is one of the most important awards for deep tech in Asia. It celebrates the exceptional talent of young scientists whose work could have global impact,” said Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate.