Through the targeted exploitation of quantum mechanical phenomena, quantum computers allow to solve calculations and simulations for systems, which even with high-performance computers of classical design cannot be carried out in an acceptable time due to the complexity of the problem. This gives rise to the hope of far-reaching increases in efficiency in numerous applications, from the optimisation of traffic flows or production processes to model calculations in climate research. Especially in the area of chemical simulation, process optimisation and machine learning, advantages are expected to be gained from the use of quantum computers in just a few years.

However, due to the essential differences to classical computers, there are obstacles that need to be removed in order to realise the potential of quantum computing on a broad front. In particular, the development of the necessary competencies and the generation of knowledge in companies, as well as the development of tools and engineering methods that facilitate the widespread use of quantum computers, are required. Furthermore, due to the technologi-cal challenges, the operation of quantum computers will initially be reserved for specialised companies and institu-tions. Therefore, access to such systems must be ensured for users under economically viable conditions and preservation of sovereignty over applications and data.

The goal of the funding programme "Quantum Computing - Applications for industry" is therefore the development of platforms, tools and methods for the economic exploitation of quantum computing. Potential users, especially from small and medium-sized enterprises, should be enabled to use commercially available quantum computers quickly and effectively for their own real applications.

The funding call published in April 2021 attracted project outlines from 13 high-ranking consortia of solution provid-ers, users and scientific research partners. In a formal review process, with the help of external experts, six projects were selected for the first tranche starting in January 2022 and another three for the second tranche starting in June 2022. The winning projects cover a large part of the German quantum computing ecosystem and were deemed to be particularly suited for making an important contribution to the establishment of sovereign structures in Germany and Europe in the field of quantum computing.

Number of projects: 6

Number of project partners: 34

Duration: 2022-2024

Funding amount: approx. 24 million euros