Reflecting on the European Quantum Technology Conference 2023
European quantum computing requires solidarity between research, industry and politics
Within the framework of the European Quantum Flagship, the European Quantum Technology Conference united thought leaders from academia, politics, industry, startups, and emerging talent. This premier event centered on transformative funding projects, shaping the European quantum landscape with a strong industrial focus.
The quantum computing landscape has witnessed significant advancements since the last European Quantum Flagship meeting in 2021, as emphasized by European research, innovation, and industry representatives during the European Quantum Technology Conference held from October 16 to 20 at Messe Hannover. At this event, numerous startups and companies showcased their offerings, spanning quantum computing software, middleware, hardware, use cases, and development concepts. Additionally, several projects funded by the BMWK, including , , , and , made notable contributions.
In a notable shift from its original research-oriented focus, the Flagship unveiled a collaborative endeavor with the industry in the form of the "SIRA - Strategic Industry and Research Agenda." This strategic vision continued to prioritize the four key quantum technologies: quantum communication, quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum metrology, and quantum simulation. It further integrated foundational technologies essential for quantum applications, such as photonics, electronics, and optics.
Quantum computing holds the promise of processing vast volumes of data with unprecedented speed for tasks such as database searches, equation solving, and pattern recognition. The core of this capability lies in manipulating and controlling "quantum states," which can encompass single atoms, ions, photons, or quantum electronic circuits. These quantum states are customized to address specific problems and use cases through dedicated algorithms and software.
BMWK's funding program plays a pivotal role in advancing quantum computing software. It aims to facilitate easier access to quantum computers, streamline usage through diverse software layers, offer decision support for selecting the computer type and computing mode (Quantum, Classical, or Hybrid), and foster the development of practical applications in domains like logistics, production, hydrogen, and mobility. However, the current progress in these areas is still constrained by the limited scalability of quantum hardware.
Nonetheless, the AQUAS, AutoQML, EniQmA, ProvideQ, Qompiler and QuaST with their presentations, posters, and expo booths, demonstrated that quantum computing is making significant headway. They shared insights into ongoing research findings and initial successes that pave the way for future quantum computing applications.
It is evident that Europe boasts a thriving quantum ecosystem with the resolve to take the next crucial steps in technological development towards realizing the quantum advantage.