Quantum Lock logoConnected devices bring improvements in convenience and efficiency to a business/industry, but every new line of communication offers a point of weakness for cybersecurity attacks. An example is in a manufacturing smart factory where there are entrances that need access control and machines that are given automated tasks. Quantum Lock is creating security for connected facilities and equipment by using quantum physics to tap into the randomness of particle behavior to create completely unpredictable digital keys to facilitate communication between devices. The hardware-software solution connects all equipment and entrances to a centralized hub which encrypts all communication with the quantum digital keys and detects anomalies with a connected ledger.

Quantum Lock Technologies is enrolled in ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program. TAEBC and Launch Tennessee provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators.

Starting new clean-tech hardware-based companies can be challenging, and that’s one reason the number of energy startups has declined significantly over the past decade. Innovation Crossroads is a program supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office, Building Technologies Office, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that leverages Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) unique scientific resources and capabilities and connects the nation’s top innovators with experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take world-changing ideas from research and development (R&D) to the marketplace.

Innovation Crossroads is a two-year program for fellows focusing on energy and advanced manufacturing technologies. Through an annual national call and competitive stage-gate process, top entrepreneurial-minded fellows are selected to join the program. Selected innovators receive a fellowship that includes a personal living stipend, along with health insurance and travel allowance, a substantial grant to use on collaborative R&D at ORNL, and comprehensive mentoring assistance to build a sustainable business model.

By embedding the next generation of top technical talent within ORNL, Innovation Crossroads positions entrepreneurial researcher fellows to address fundamental energy and manufacturing challenges identified by industry.