I joined ICFO in 2012, in an on-going research program on quantum cryptography and quantum randomness generation. Together with Quside co-founders Waldimar Amaya, Valerio Pruneri and Morgan Mitchell, we got started at the very beginning: How does this quantum randomness generation technology work?
By combining frontier research and an engineering mindset (retrospectively, I think our engineering bias was key in our spin out journey), we first built a solid foundation on the physics and then we delivered amazing prototypes that were used by some of the best quantum research labs globally (NIST, TU Delft and IQOQI). These groups used our quantum RNGs for the so-called 2015 loophole-free Bell test experiments.
We then went beyond on the technology side on two domains. On the one hand, we built the first fully integrated photonic quantum entropy chip (published in 2016, after 2 years of development). On the other hand, we developed what we now call the Randomness Metrology methodology, which was our scientific way of asking ourselves: how do we know that what we are generating is actually random? Which by the way is a question that we get quite often asked by our customers and partners, and one that we love to get asked. With the science done, with prototypes successfully delivered and with a tiny photonic chip demonstrated, it was time to move to the next stage.